Now that Thanksgiving is over and the big holiday season is coming, it is time for some easy comfort food. Over the years, I have found that if the recipe starts with the disclaimer of “peasant food”, it is something I am sure to enjoy. This recipe comes from a set in the September Cooking Light magazine that talked of the “frugal genius” of cooks all over the world. This particular recipe was a nod to the cooks of Italy.
I have made this recipe twice now and both times everyone enjoyed it. My husband and son both requested 2 eggs over their pasta though the original recipe only called for one per person. I toned down the number of onions to make the dish more kid-friendly and fudged on the amount of cheese. I will give the original cheese measurements but feel free to toss in a little more! I have only been able to find traditional kale but you could also substitute Tuscan kale or even Swiss Chard. I do own a poached egg cooker and cannot even start to make a poached egg without one. I will include the directions from the recipe but I think you should ask for an egg cooker for the holidays!
This dish is hearty and warm and we loved the soft boiled egg mixed in with the pasta! Mix the kale in with the pasta on your plate or eat them separately. This is a wonderful winter dish.
Pasta with Kale, Poached Egg, and Breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a 2 ounce piece of whole wheat baguette (I used a whole wheat roll) in a food processor and pulse until you have fine breadcrumbs. You will need about 1 cup. Combine breadcrumbs and 2 teaspoons olive oil on a baking sheet. Bake this for 8 minutes or until the crumbs are toasted, stirring occasionally.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add 1 medium onion – chopped to the pan and saute until the onions are golden. Gradually add 14 cups stemmed, coarsely chopped kale to the pan; stirring to wilt the greens after each addition. Stir in 1/2 cup water, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, and 4 chopped garlic cloves. Reduce the heat and cook uncovered about 10 – 12 minutes or until the kale is tender. Stir occasionally. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and keep the mixture warm.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add 8 ounces of whole wheat spaghetti and cook until al dente. Drain and toss with 2 ounces of grated Romano cheese, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Keep warm.
Meanwhile, either cook 4 eggs in an egg cooker or bring another pot of water to boil. Crack each egg individually into a small bowl and gently slide the eggs into the boiling water. Cook 3 minutes or just until the egg whites are set.
To serve, place about 3/4 cup of kale in the bottom of 4 shallow bowls. Top each serving with about 1 cup of the pasta mixture, 1 egg, and 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs. Shave extra cheese on top if desired. Serve immediately.
I hope you enjoy this peasant food! My other favorite peasant meal I posted in May of 2011 – Pasta with Spinach, Beans and Asiago Cheese. This is another family favorite. Enjoy!
~ The Mildly Manic Mom