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Spaghetti with Garlicky, Lemony, Creamy Kale

I didn't set out to post about this last-minute Sunday dinner, but we liked it so much that I couldn't resist. It's a tad on the indulgent side for a kale recipe, but I'm not the least bit sorry.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 yukon gold potato, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup capers or chopped olives, if you like
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 pounds Lacinato kale
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano, plus more for serving
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Set a spaghetti pot half filled with well-salted water on the stove to boil.
  • Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a wide frying pan that has a lid (which you'll use later). Add the garlic, shallot and potato along with a good sprinkle of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is golden brown in spots but without a hint of burning.
  • Add the olives or capers, if using, and the cream. Adjust heat so the cream is bubbling gently, pop a lid on it, and simmer until potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, strip the kale leaves from their stems and cut the leaves into long, thin strips. When potatoes are just tender, add kale leaves to pan, stir to coat, and cook until kale is wilted and tender, about 5 minutes.
  • While the kale cooks, boil the spaghetti until al dente and drain.
  • Add the pasta to the frying pan, sprinkle with the lemon juice, pecorino and salt and pepper to taste, and toss everything together. Serve immediately, with more cheese to pass at the table.
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    Recipe Notes

  • Note: I love using my Le Creuset enameled cast iron braiser for recipes like this because it's lidded and the enamel makes it non-stick enough for government work without being finicky. There are less-expensive versions out there if the price tag throws you (and I bought a less-loved color at deep discount once upon a time, so that's an option, too). Not to mention that any opportunity to amortize this giant purchase that I made for a skillet cookie is a good opportunity. It's the same way I treat my law degree.
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