Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Spicy Kale and Chevre Penne

For dinner last night, I made one of my three "new" recipes for the week, the spicy kale and chevre penne.  I am pleased to announce that I am finally finished with the bag of only took two weeks.  Luckily, kale is hardy, and therefore it takes a long time for it to truly go bad. 

Anyways, I was looking forward to this all day.  I mean, kale, pasta, goat cheese, garlic?  What's not to like.  In fact, when I got home at 5ish, I was super hungry and tempted to start on it right away, but instead I took Milton out and had a snack.  I'm trying to stop snacking so much after dinner; for right now my plan is to eat dinner later.  I'll let you know how it goes.

This recipe comes from Family of Foodies, which I hadn't read before, but I saw the recipe on Pinterest and was all like SOLD.  Since I'd never made it before, I followed it to the letter.  The only thing that I would change for next time, is I'd actually add more red pepper flakes.  I know that spice is a matter of personal preference, but this didn't taste spicy to me at all.  However, for those of you who are less spice tolerant, err on the side of less.  Dad, you should probably go with the whole jar ;)

Spicy Kale and Chevre Penne by Jordan at Family of Foodies

8 oz kale (to me, that means two pretty big handfuls)
1 cup vegetable stock (you could definitely use some other kind of stock if that's what you have open, just remember if you use a meat based stock, you should probably mention that to any vegetarians you may serve it to)
1 pint grape tomatoes
8 garlic cloves
1/2 to 1 tsp hot pepper flakes (again, I found this amount to be too little for my taste)
1 lb penne (I used a combination of whole wheat rotini and regular elbows.  A pound is around 4 cups of dried pasta.)
4 oz chèvre (FYI, chevre is French for goat cheese.  Also French for freaking delicious)
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
Salt and Pepper to taste

Step One (sorry, but it's just the gift that keeps on giving)

Boil water for pasta in large pot.  Make sure you add a lot of salt.  You want for the water to remind you of the beach, without the sand.  It really does make a difference.  If you've never done this before and are concerned that you may make it too salty, start off small. 

While waiting for the water to boil, start on the sauce.  Chop garlic and saute in large skillet with a bit of olive oil over medium high heat until it takes on some color and your kitchen smells nice.  If the kitchen stinks, it's been too long, start over.  It should take 3-4 min, depending on how hot your pan has gotten.

Slice grape tomatoes in half (or quarters if they're really big) and add them to the pan with the garlic. Cook until tomatoes start to soften and breakdown slightly, which should take about 7-10 minutes.  If you have texture problems with cooked tomatoes, I'd recommend adding them right at the end of making the entire dish; they will hold their form better that way.  However, I have found that the little (either grape or cherry) tomatoes don't get as weird and mushy when cooked as the big boys do.

Add the kale, stock, and seasonings to the pan.  Stir and make sure that the kale gets somewhat submerged in the liquid; this will help it cook faster.  Cook until the kale is bright green and slightly wilted, around 3-5 minutes.

Cook your pasta according to the package directions.  When it is done (I like mine al dente, which takes about 6 minutes for a smaller pasta), drain it and then put it back into the pot.

Add the kale/tomato/garlic mixture to the pasta.  Then, the best part.  The cheese!!!  Add the goat cheese and the yogurt to the pot and stir until combined.  If you like your sauce a little bit looser, add in a bit of water or milk until it reaches your desired consistency

Serve with a nice glass of cheap ass pinot. 

As always, you can change elements of this recipe to suit your personal taste/what you have in the house.  If you hate kale, any other green leafy thing (spinach, collards, etc) would work fine.  If you only eat long skinny noodles, that's fine too.  Hate goat cheese?  I'm definitely judging you, but you could substitute any other creamy cheese. 



  1. I am glad you enjoyed this as much as I did! I liked mine with more heat as well but my husband found it too hot so we compromised. Anyway nice to read a post from a fellow home cook trying out one of my recipes! Thanks!

  2. Thanks for posting it! Your blog is lovely!!

  3. Omg this looks fab! Totally trying it next week. I could eat goat cheese like ice cream btw.

    1. Goat cheese is my favorite. Maybe I'll make a fruit and goat cheese sorbet, after the snow melts.