Pumpkin, Sausage, Sage Pizza

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We are big fans of pizza in our house. Homemade pizza is very easy to make, economical and gives you a great way to use up small amounts of leftover meat or vegetables in the refrigerator. I love to try new pizza combinations, although this is not always popular in our house. Sometimes you just want what’s familiar. This pizza was terrific–I will definitely make it again!

In full disclosure, this pizza elicited more teen jokes than any other meal I’ve prepared. Trying to be “artsy,” I made a flower design with the sage leaves. My daughter thought it looked like a marijuana leaf. I’m always glad to be the source of amusement. And really, no more trips to Spencer’s Novelty Shop. Really.

This pizza is super tasty and full of fall flavor. It involves no illegal substances, although pumpkin is so addictive this time of year, it probably should require a driver’s license to purchase. We used a spicy chicken sausage, but I think an Italian sausage or sage sausage would be pretty terrific as well. Or even soyrizo if you are going meatless. I replaced our usual mozzarella with a blend of Swiss and Gruyère cheese–I think those cheeses taste great with the sage and pumpkin (and they melt beautifully).

I used organic canned pumpkin for this recipe because it is already cooked and it is very thick with little residual moisture. If you use fresh pumpkin, make sure you cook it down to a very thick paste or your pizza dough will be quite soggy (I made that mistake with butternut squash once and it was not good).

Pumpkin, Sausage and Sage Pizza (makes 1 pizza)

  • 1 whole wheat pizza crust (recipe HERE)
  • 8-10 fresh, organic sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb. local, spicy link sausage, casing removed
  • 1 organic yellow onion, peeled and sliced thin
  • 2 cloves organic garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup organic pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups grated Swiss and Gruyère cheeses
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a medium skillet or saute pan, heat the olive oil to medium high.
  3. When oil is hot, add the sage leaves and fry them for about 90 seconds per side or until they are crispy, but not browned. Remove sage leaves to a paper towel to drain.
  4. Add the sausage to the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the sausage until no longer pink, breaking up any large clumps with the back of a wooden spoon.
  5. Remove the sausage from the pan to a colander or paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  6. Add onion and garlic to the pan with the drippings and saute for 4-5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and starts to caramelize a bit. Remove the onion and garlic to a small bowl.
  7. Assemble the pizza by stretching the dough (my pizzas are never round–more like rounded rectangles) onto a flour dusted baking sheet or pizza stone.
  8. Top the dough with the pumpkin, spreading it across the dough, leaving a 1-2″ crust around the edges.
  9. Sprinkle the onions and garlic over the pumpkin.
  10. Crumble up 2-3 sage leaves and sprinkle them over the onions.
  11. Top the onions with the crumbled and drained sausage.
  12. Cover the whole thing with cheese.
  13. Arrange the remaining sage leaves into a flower that will be completely misinterpreted by your family.
  14. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until cheese is just browned and bubbly.
  15. Cut the pizza and serve immediately.
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Sweet Potato, Chorizo and Pepper Pizza

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It’s fall, y’all. Time to break out the boots, cozy sweaters and the fall recipe book! This recipe includes one of my favorite fall flavor combinations–locally made bulk chorizo sausage and roasted sweet potatoes. We buy our bulk chorizo from Mae Farm, a local farm that raises pigs in the highest ethical standards, with lots of room to roam and be pigs. Their chorizo is pretty phenomenal and I can’t wait for fall so we can make this pizza again! By the way, this same combination of flavors works great in a quesadilla as well! If you are feeding people who aren’t fans of spice, you can leave out the chili in adobo sauce.

This pizza is a knife and fork pizza. Or at least a two napkin pizza. It is chock full of late summer/early fall goodness, like roasted sweet potato, sweet onions, locally made chorizo sausage, and colorful, fresh bell peppers. This pizza is a meal In itself. I had originally planned to have a salad with dinner, but once I saw how huge the pizza was, I decided to save the salad for another night!

Pizza is one of those incredibly versatile meals that can make the most of whatever you have in the pantry or refrigerator. I’m including my whole wheat crust recipe because it is filling and higher in protein and fiber. You could replace it with whatever crust you like, though. I’m definitely going to make this again during football season!

Sweet Potato, Chorizo and Pepper Pizza (makes 4-6 serving)

  • 1 recipe whole wheat pizza crust (see below)
  • 1 large sweet potato, roasted, with flesh removed from skin (compost the skin)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 bell peppers (I used 1 each of red, yellow and green), washed, seeded and chopped
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (optional)
  • 1 lb. chorizo bulk chorizo sausage
  • 1 cup canned organic black beans
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  1. Prepare the pizza crust and let rise.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. In a 12″ skillet, brown the chorizo sausage over medium heat. Place a strainer over a thick layer of paper towel and pour sausage and drippings into the strainer and set aside.
  4. Return the skillet to the heat, and add the olive oil, onion, garlic and peppers. Stir together and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft and there is no liquid in the pan. Remove pan from heat.
  5. On a lightly greased or flour dusted baking sheet, stretch dough out to make your pizza shape (I prefer square pizzas, but that’s me).
  6. Spread the sweet potato over the crust and sprinkle the drained chorizo over the sweet potato.
  7. Add black beans on top of the sausage, then add the pepper mixture over all.
  8. Cover the vegetables with a generous amount of cheese.
  9. Bake the pizza for 15-20 minutes.
  10. Cut and serve immediately.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (makes 2 rounds of dough)

  • 1 pckg. yeast
  • 1 3/4 c. warm water
  • 4 c. whole wheat all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let sit for 5 minutes until completely dissolved and a bit foamy.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer (w/dough hook attached), combine flour, salt and olive oil.
  3. While mixer is running on low/med low, add yeast water to the flour in a stream.
  4. Allow mixer to knead dough for about 4 min.
  5. Cover bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place for 1.5 hours or until doubled in bulk.
  6. Punch down dough and divide into two pieces (we divided it into 3). Each ball will make a pizza. You can freeze half for another time or let each dough ball stand covered for 20 minutes.
  7. Shape and make your pizzas according to the recipe directions.

Oven Baked Vegetable Soup

IMG_2035It took me a long time to learn to make a good soup. A long. Long. Time. For years, the soups I made were flavorless and disappointing. I had no idea what I was doing wrong, but it didn’t seem like soup could really be that complicated. Turns out, soup isn’t that complicated, but you do have to pay attention and follow a few simple rules. And you also need patience. Once I figured this out, I was on my way to making all kinds of simple, but delicious and nourishing soup combinations. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:

  1. Use stock, never water. Homemade stock is always better than what you can buy and almost any stock is better than starting with water.
  2. Cook your onions and garlic before adding them to the soup pot. Bringing out the sweetness of onions and garlic before adding them to your soup pot will yield a richer flavor.
  3. Use herbs with abandon and salt with a generous hand. Okay, I know salt is supposed to be evil and all, but unless you have a health problem that prohibits you from having salt, use it along with an assortment of fresh and dried herbs. Use Kosher or sea salt. Don’t use table salt. Maybe ever.
  4. Make your soup a day ahead. If you have the time, make your soup a day ahead and reheat. Soup and stew both benefit greatly from allowing flavors to mingle.

This soup is almost more of a vegetable stew, and it bakes in the oven rather than simmering on a stove top. This is perfect for my favorite fall activity–watching football. The entire pot assembled quickly and baked until we were ready at halftime. The house also smelled terrific–all cozy and comforting.

The original recipe for this dish was posted to Eating Well, and I changed it up to suit my tastes. I used homemade chicken broth instead of water (see lesson #1 above), but you could make this vegan by using vegetable broth and eliminating the Parmesan cheese rind. I also altered the original recipe, substituting some fresh vegetables I had on hand and adding fresh herbs and garlic. I used my ceramic coated Dutch oven to make this–you will need a very large pot or Dutch oven. The original recipe says it serves 8, but I think it may serve more–it is a LOT of soup. This recipe comes together quickly and you could really use whatever fresh vegetables you have handy. The next time I make this (and there will be a next time), I may add some cannellini beans for protein. Whatever you choose, this is a wonderful versatile recipe for an easy, lazy weekend meal that is healthy!

Oven Baked Vegetable Soup (serves 8-10)

  • 5 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 pound potatoes, cubed or use tiny potatoes, cut in half
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper, divided
  • 3 zucchini, cut in half and sliced
  • 2 medium leeks, halved and sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh oregano
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 10 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups fresh corn off the cob
  • 4 cups artichoke hearts
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1-15 ounce can of diced tomatoes, with their juice
  • 1 2-inch piece of Parmesan cheese rind
  • 6 cups homemade chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pour oil into a large ovenproof pot or Dutch oven. Arrange potatoes in a single layer over the oil.
  3. Sprinkle with half the salt and half the pepper. Add the leaves from one sprig of rosemary and 1 tablespoon of the oregano.
  4. Layer zucchini, leeks, carrots, mushrooms, corn, artichoke hearts, leaves from one sprig of rosemary, remaining oregano, salt and pepper.
  5. Tuck the Parmesan rind into the vegetables.
  6. Pour the tomatoes and juice over the vegetables. Add the chicken or vegetable stock.
  7. Cover the pot and bake in the oven for 2 or 2 1/2 hours.
  8. Serve immediately garnished with cheese and accompanied by a good, crusty bread.

 

Warm, Brussels Sprout Salad

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This salad wasn’t on my weekly menu, but I made it anyway. Those of you who are Brussels sprout haters will not understand, but I was completely craving these little cabbages. This is one of my favorite winter salads because it is packed full of flavor and served warm, which is comforting on a chilly evening. I am not sure where this recipe originated–I thought I dreamed it up, but it is everwhere, so I’m guessing I am not such a genius!

One note: use FRESH sprouts, not frozen. It makes all the difference in the world. We can get Brussels sprouts fresh at our farmers markets during the cooler months, but we also buy them still on the stalk at Trader Joes for about $2.99, making this a very economical as well as nourishing meal. If you can’t find fresh sprouts, you could substitute broccoli, and that would be tasty as well!

Warm Brussels Sprout Salad (serves 4)

  • 4 cups cooked grains (quinoa, barley, or rice)
  • 1 lb. fresh Brussels sprouts, washed and cut in half, lengthwise
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, peeled and sliced thin
  • 3 strips local, pasture-raised smoked bacon
  • 1 cup new crop pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 lemon, zested and and juiced
  • Good quality balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher or sea salt and ground pepper
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss the Brussels sprouts with the olive oil and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast in the oven for about 40 minutes, gently stirring sprouts every 10 minutes.
  3. While sprouts are roasting, cook the bacon until crisp. Crumble bacon and set aside on paper towel to drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in the pan.
  4. Heat the pan over medium heat and add the sliced onions to the bacon fat and sauté for 20 minutes or so, until onions are caramelized. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. When sprouts are roasted and browned on the edges, remove them from the oven.
  6. In a large bowl, gently toss the sprouts, onions, blue cheese, cranberries, crumbled bacon and pecans.
  7. Divide cooked grains among serving bowls and top with warm salad mix.
  8. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and a squeeze of lemon. Garnish with lemon zest. Serve immediately.

Turkey Hash

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I love having leftover turkey after Thanksgiving. In fact, I have been known to buy a second turkey after Thanksgiving, just so we could have more yummy turkey dishes. Crazy, right? Crazy and delicious!

This dish is a family favorite–we all look forward to decorating for Christmas and enjoying a hearty bowl of this simple combination of turkey, herbs, stock and vegetables. In fact, this recipe uses up a lot of those leftover bits of vegetables and herbs that seem to linger in the refrigerator after Thanksgiving. Efficient, delicious, hearty and healthy–what could be better?

Turkey Hash (makes 4 servings)

  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 ribs celery, washed and chopped
  • 2-3 cups chopped, cooked turkey
  • 1 lb. potatoes, washed and sliced thin
  • 4 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Cooked rice (optional)
  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When oil is hot, add the chopped onion. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the onions are soft.
  2. Add the minced garlic and saute for 1 minute.
  3. Add the carrots and celery and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add all remaining ingredients except rice, stir well, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes. Vegetables should be very tender and stock should have reduced by half.
  5. Check seasonings and correct if needed.
  6. Serve immediately in bowls as is or over cooked rice.

Spiced Sweet Potato Biscuits

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This is one of my favorite holiday recipes. We had these biscuits again this Thanksgiving, and they are marvelous! The recipe comes from Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson, where I was lucky enough to intern in graduate school. I’ve altered the recipe a bit, replacing lard with butter (you’re welcome) and increasing the spices. They are sweet, spicy and moist, with enough flakiness that they are a true biscuit and not a roll. Great with ham or with soup!

This recipe makes a LOT of biscuits. If you don’t want quite that many, you can freeze the uncooked biscuits for later and just pop them onto a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees. Or you can just halve the recipe!

Spiced Sweet Potato Biscuits (makes about 3 dozen biscuits)

  • 5 c. unbleached flour
  • 1 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 c. solid very cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 2 c. roasted, mashed and cooled sweet potato
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1/2 c. chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ginger and allspice. Combine well.
3. Cut in the butter with two knives or with your fingers, until crumbly.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the sweet potato, cream and pecans.
5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the potato mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
6. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll or pat dough to about 2″ thick.
7. Cut biscuits with a 2″ cutter and place biscuits about 1″ apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
8. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
9. Serve warm to happy guests!

Roasted Chestnuts

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You know the song, right? It’s called “The Christmas Song,” but most of us know it as “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.” I have heard that song all my life, but I had never eaten a chestnut. I figured they were like walnuts or something, and couldn’t figure out how in the world a nut got an entire Christmas song to itself. I mean, I get peppermint having a song, or even gingerbread. But chestnuts? Clearly, some political move from the chestnut lobby.

So when our Produce Box arrived last week with a bag of chestnuts from a local farm, I thought it would be a good time to see what all the hype was about. I decided to make a chestnut sausage stuffing for Thanksgiving and to prep the chestnuts, I would roast them not over an open fire (torrential rain here), but in the oven. I was a bit intimidated by the whole “cut an x in the nut shell or it will explode” business, but it all turned out well. I have a little serrated paring knife that worked very well at cutting through the shell, and nothing exploded inside my oven (which is good because calling a repair person the week of Thanksgiving is a good way to end up with a dinner of grilled cheese).

After cutting the X into each shell, I put the nuts (cut side up) in a cake pan and popped them into a 450 degree oven for 30 minutes. Here are the before and after photos:

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I let the roasted nuts cool for 10 minutes before peeling them and that was ample time. The nut shells came off quite easily and were tossed into the compost bin. I tasted one of the warm nuts, and couldn’t believe how meaty it tasted. Wow! I tried another one in case the first was some kind of abberation. Delicious! It took a great deal of self-control not to eat all of them and adjust my stuffing recipe to suit pecans. In fact, the next time I see them offered by The Produce Box, I am going to order more. Talk about great football snacks!

So now when I hear “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” this holiday season, I will have a better frame of reference. And I’ve tried a new local farm product this week, too! Hope the rest of the chestnuts make it to Thursday 🙂

Roasted Chestnuts

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  2. With a sharp paring knife, score an “x” on the flat side of the nut, cutting through the shell.
  3. Put the nuts, cut side up, in a roasting pan or other shallow, oven-safe pan.
  4. Roast the chestnuts for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and let nuts cool for about 10 minutes.
  6. Peel the shells from the nut meat and discard the shells.
  7. Use the nuts immediately or refrigerate for up to three days.

Cranberry Apple Chutney

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I love cranberries, and Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be the same without homemade cranberry sauce. It is so easy to make, and can be prepared ahead and parked in the refrigerator for several days. Usually, I make a cranberry-orange sauce. And usually, I remember to take it out of the refrigerator before dessert 🙂 This year, we changed things up just a bit, using some of the local apples we received in our Produce Box to make a spicy chutney instead. This chutney is sweet,savory and spicy all at the same time. It will pair well with turkey, but I’m betting it will also really rock a pork loin roast (note to self: get a pork loin roast!). I think it will also be fabulous on a turkey burger or on a sandwich. Endless possibilities!

Cranberry Apple Chutney (makes about 4 cups)

  • 12 ounces fresh, organic cranberries
  • 2 large tart apples (like granny smith), cored, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup organic raisins
  • 1 cup pure cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup packed, organic brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  1. Heat the cane sugar and water in a large saucepan to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
  2. Add all other ingredients except the nuts, stir well and return to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer the sauce for about 25 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Sauce should be thick and jammy when done.
  5. Add the chopped pecans and serve warm or cold. You can store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Lentils, Sweet Potatoes and Spinach in Pumpkin Curry

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We’ve received a lovely dose of frigid weather this week, and it has us craving hearty, hot meals. This dish is perfect cold weather comfort food–hot, hearty, nourishing and healthy. I wouldn’t normally associate a vegan stew with stick-to-your-ribs winter fare, but this fits the bill and is on our list of make again meals. The combination of pumpkin, spices and coconut milk makes a rich base for red lentils, flavorful sweet potatoes and fresh spinach. You could thin this out a bit and serve it as a soup, but we prefer it thick like a stew. You could also substitute butternut squash for the sweet potatoes and chard or kale for the spinach. Don’t let the long list of ingredients keep you from trying this. Most of the list is spices and the whole dish comes together very easily in one pan!

A note about red lentils: Red lentils are smaller than other varieties and will dissolve into a sauce if cooked for long periods of time. If you use a larger, thicker variety of lentil, adjust your cooking time accordingly.

Lentils, Sweet Potatoes and Spinach in Pumpkin Curry (serves 4)

  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground, black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2″ piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 cup dried, red lentils
  • 4 cups fresh spinach, washed and trimmed of stems
  1. Mix the first 10 ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a deep skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté 1 minute.
  4. Add the sweet potatoes to the pan and stir well, coating the potatoes with the oil.
  5. Pour the pumpkin curry mixture over the potatoes, stir well and reduce heat to medium low. If the sauce is too thick, add 1/2 cup water and stir.
  6. Cover the pan and simmer the potatoes for 10 minutes, stirring frequently and adding water if needed to keep the sauce from sticking.
  7. Add the lentils, cover and cook 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
  8. Add the spinach and cook another 5 minutes or until the lentils are soft, but not dissolved, and spinach is wilted.
  9. Check for seasoning and adjust as necessary for your palate.
  10. Serve immediately.

Pasta with Kale, Bacon and Sun Dried Tomatoes

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Kale is like that popular kid in school who got so much positive attention that other kids starting hating him, just because. You know what I’m talking about, right? Well, kale can be kind of like that–so good and so talked about that people get irritated before they have even tried being friends. Kale is one of those trendy food fads that is sticking with us for the long haul, though. It is just so good and so good for you that it’s hard for me to just roll my eyes at the popular kid and walk away. Kale, I’m saving you a seat at my lunch table.

I saw this recipe in Cooking Light and thought it sounded like a terrific recipe to try now, when we are trying to increase our running mileage. It is hearty, but doesn’t leave you with regret, and it is packed with fall goodness. It’s a perfect dinner the night before a long run, and I’m betting it makes great leftovers (although we ate the whole thing, so I don’t know for sure). It is also a super quick recipe to make–which is good because weeknights are complicated enough. I’ve made some very minor modifications to the original recipe and doubled the amounts to make enough for a family, but this is fairly similar to the original.

Pasta with Kale, Bacon and Sun Dried Tomatoes (makes 4 servings)

  • 16 ounces dried, organic pasta
  • 1 bundle of organic kale, washed, stemmed and chopped
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 dried chili pepper chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes)
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 lemon
  1. Put a pot of heavily salted water to boil for the pasta.
  2. When pasta water comes to a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook until almost done. Add the kale to the pot, stir well and cook another 3 minutes or until kale is wilted. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
  3. While pasta is cooking, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until it is crisp. Remove bacon to some paper towels to drain.
  4. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease from the pan and return the pan to medium heat.
  5. Add the onions to the pan and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute.
  6. Reduce the heat and add the sun dried tomatoes, salt, pepper, and red pepper. Stir well and heat through.
  7. Add the drained pasta/kale mix and the pasta water to the skillet. Heat through and toss all ingredients together.
  8. Serve topped with crumbled bacon, cheese and a drizzle of lemon juice.
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