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.