Spicy Peanutty Kale Pasta
olive oil, as needed
1/2 onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups kale, chopped small
1/2 pound pasta
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce, as needed to thin
2-3 tablespoons peanut butter (crunchy goes great with this recipe)
1+ tablespoon Asian chili-garlic sauce
1/2 (15 ounce) can white beans or garbanzos
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Boil a pot of water for pasta. You'll want to start cooking the pasta according to package directions right before you add the tomato sauce (see step 3).
2. In a large pan or wide pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and throw in the onions and garlic. Cook to soften, 3-4 minutes. Add the kale and mix in with the onions and garlic.
3. Pour in the entire 15 ounce can tomato sauce, stirring to coat the kale. Add a little more sauce from the smaller can so everything's coated, but don't get tricked into adding too much; the kale will shrink down significantly.
4. Reduce heat and simmer the mixture 6-8 minutes covered, stirring frequently, until kale is tender-crisp. Stir in peanut butter and chili garlic sauce. Add beans, if desired. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
5. Simmer for another couple minutes until everything is creamy and well-blended. Drain the pasta and combine thoroughly with the sauce, stirring to coat. Serve hot, and garnish with fresh kale leaves and crushed peanuts if you wish.
This is a lovely recipe, with the tomato neutralizing the bitter of the kale and the peanut butter adding subtle sweetness. I added onions and garlic, kicked up the heat, doubled the amount of kale, and substituted tomato sauce for tomato juice, and added optional beans. The overall effect is a heartier sauce that's more appealing to a wider audience, plus it's a powerhouse of nutrients and protein.
Source of recipe: This recipe is adapted from Matthew Levine's Spicy Tomato Peanut and Kale Pasta, which can be viewed here: http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=7918.0 . I found it on page 134 of Sarah Kramer's La Dolce Vegan.