Sunday, June 20, 2010

Veggie Filled Pasta in Tomato Sauce

Today was a pretty typical summer day in Tallahassee - hot, humid and rainy. I guess it's my Colorado instincts, but I always seem to believe that it must be cold outside once the rain, thunder and lightening start. Even though I was fully aware that it was hot and muggy outside, something about hearing the rain fall outside for a couple of hours made me want to make something comforting for dinner that would be great after a cold, wet winter day. This pasta came out nice and cheesy, but I used a lot of veggies and whole wheat pasta to keep some balance.
You can really use any combination of things for this - don't feel obligated to stick to the veggies I used. You can also most certainly use half the amount of cheese I did - I probably will only use half a cup next time. Make sure to remove the stems from the kale - it doesn't cook down very quickly. Spinach would go nicely in lieu of kale. I'm typically not a huge fan of plain tomato sauce, but the vegetables and cheese in this take it to a whole different level.

Pasta with Kale, Carrots and Onions in Tomato Sauce


1 pkg. whole wheat pasta (I used medium shells, any short pasta will do)
1 cup shredded carrot (I buy "matchstick" carrots pre-shredded in the store)
3 cups kale, stems removed.
1/2 white onion
3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tbsps. olive oil
1 small tomato, diced largely
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
sprinkle of parmesan cheese for each serving
1/2 jar of tomato sauce


1. Bring a bot of salted water to a boil and add pasta. Drain when at desired level of doneness.
2. Bring a tablespoon of olive oil to a simmer in a medium size pot and add garlic. Saute garlic for a minute taking care not to burn it. Add diced onion and carrot. and saute, stirring frequently adding more olive oil as necessary. When the onions and carrots are tender add the chopped tomato and the kale (a handful at a time if you're short on space - it cooks down quickly). Stir the kale frequently to cook down, add lid briefly if it's not cooking quickly enough.
3. When kale is incorporated add the tomato sauce and some salt and pepper. Cover for a minute or two until the sauce is heated and then add the mozzarella cheese and stir to incorporate. Cover for a minute to help cheese melt.
4. When the cheese is melted pour the sauce mixture over the pasta. Serve with a bit of parmesan cheese sprinkled on top if desired.


  1. As another currently displaced Colorado girl, I empathize with you completely. I'm in Boston, MA right now and when it rains I still don't understand how it can be 95 degrees outside!

    This sounds very, very yummy. I'm always looking for ways to add kale into my diet, too. Do you think I can veganize and de-glutenize this? Gluten free pasta...minus the cheese? Perhaps a cup of soy milk and a serving of arrowroot to give it more of a creamy texture? I will try this out and send pictures!

    I'm enjoying your blog! :)

  2. It was really good, I think you could add gluten free pasta and get rid of the cheese. The veggies really give the sauce a lot of flavor, so I don't know that the milk would even be necessary. I made kale chips recently, but they were not very tasty. I may try them again, you should too (it's just seasoned kale baked in the oven until crispy).

    Thanks Michelle, I would like to know how it goes! The kale really does add a nice, different texture.

  3. As I'm thinking about it, if you could add vegan sour cream or some tofu to this I bet it would come out a lot creamier - I think it could work.