Hearty kale adds welcome texture to the classic combo of pasta and red sauce, whose flavor is also heightened by smooth crème fraîche and plump, sweet raisins. The ridged, cup-like shape of orecchiette is perfect for holding onto all that rich sauce.
- 6 oz Orecchiette Pasta
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1 bunch Kale
- 4 oz Sweet Peppers
- 1 bunch Oregano
- 2 Tbsps Crème Fraîche
- 1 Shallot
- 0.7 oz Grana Padano Cheese
- 2 Tbsps Tomato Paste
- ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- 1½ Tbsps Golden Raisins
- Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Remove and discard the stems of the kale; roughly chop the leaves. Cut off and discard the stems of the peppers; remove and discard the cores. Halve lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Peel and thinly slice the shallot. If necessary, peel the garlic, then roughly chop. Pick the oregano leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Grate the cheese on the small side of a box grater.
- Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook 5 minutes. Add the chopped kale and continue to cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until the kale is softened and the pasta is al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water, drain thoroughly.
- While the pasta cooks, in a medium pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced peppers and shallot; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the chopped garlic and oregano leaves; cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly softened. Add the tomato paste, raisins, and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Add 1/2 cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Turn off the heat.
- Add the cooked pasta and kale, créme fraîche, and half the reserved pasta cooking water to the pan of sauce. Cook on medium-high, stirring vigorously, 1 to 2 minutes, or until coated. If the pasta seems dry, gradually add the remaining pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency. Turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the finished pasta garnished with a drizzle of olive oil and the grated cheese.