Sunday, September 7, 2014

Red Pepper-Kale Pasta with Goat Cheese

This is a great weeknight pasta dish, because the sauce cooks in the time it takes to bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta.  Despite being quick, the dish is flavorful and filling.  You can use any combination of roasted and fresh bell pepper you have here -- I had half a jar of roasted red peppers in the fridge, and supplemented with a fresh bell pepper I had on hand.  The peppers pair well with creamy goat cheese, both melted into the sauce and sprinkled on top of the finished dish.  Kale cooks right with the pasta for an easy way to add greens and texture to the dish.  Serve with good bread on the side for a hearty, tasty dinner -- we picked up a loaf of this baby spinach, onion, and garlic ciabatta from the farmer's market.

Red Pepper-Kale Pasta with Goat Cheese (loosely adapted from Rachel Ray Magazine)
Serves 4

12 ounces dry pasta
1 bunch kale, leaves torn into smal pieces 
2 roasted red peppers, chopped
1 smallish fresh red pepper, trimmed and chopped
1 tsp high-quality garlic powder, or substitute 3-4 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp minced toasted onions, or substitute a minced shallot
14.5 ounce can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
5 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

1. Bring a large lot of water to a boil. When it boils, add the pasta along with a generous pinch of salt.  When the pasta has 2 minutes to go, add the kale. Drain.
2. While the water comes to a boil and the pasta cooks, make the sauce. Heat a generous pour of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it gets hot, add both types of pepper along with the garlic powder, onions, and a generous pinch of salt.  Cook for 7-8 minutes, until the peppers are tender.  Add the crushed tomatoes, and stir until hot. Then add half the goat cheese and stir until the cheese melts. Then turn the heat down to low and let the sauce bubble until the pasta-kale mixture is ready.
3. Stir together the sauce, pasta, and kale until everything is evenly distributed. Taste and add more salt if needed. Serve topped with the remaining crumbled goat cheese.

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