This recipe may not be Irish (kale and bacon work, but pistachio nuts are originally from Central Asia and the Middle East, and pasta is from Italy by way of China and Arabia). But it sure is green and right on trend, if you’d rather not have the conventional corned beef and cabbage or Irish stew on St. Patrick’s Day.
(And if not for St. Pat’s, National Pistachio Day is February 25th.)
The recipe is from McCormick: In this fresh pasta sauce, kale, avocado and pistachios are puréed with chicken stock, garlic, and Italian seasoning for an easy dish that’s packed with flavor.
And it uses a charming shortcut of pasta, campanelle (cahm-pah-NELL-lay), a delicate-looking but sturdy shape that looks like a bell-like flower. It is typically served with a thick sauce, or in a casserole, where its fluted shape and hollow center help catch the sauce.
Barilla makes campanelle, and you may be able to find imported brands. If you can’t find them locally, you can order them online.
By the way, although no market carries them all, there are hundreds of different pasta shapes. Check them out in our Pasta Glossary.
Prep time is 20 minutes, cook time is 20 minutes.
Ingredients For 8 Servings
*You can purchase an Italian seasoning blend or make your own. Combine two tablespoons each of, basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary and thyme. Store in an airtight container away from light and heat.
1. COOK the pasta as directed on the package. Drain well. Meanwhile…
2. COOK the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove the bacon and drain it on paper towels; then crumble and set aside.
3. ADD 2 cups of the kale to the bacon drippings in skillet; cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes or just until kale is tender-crisp. Remove the kale and set it aside.
4. ADD the onion to the skillet; cook and stir for 2 minutes (add oil if needed). Add the chicken stock and seasonings; bring to boil. Reduce the heat to low; simmer for 5 minutes.
5. PLACE the remaining 4 cups of kale in a blender. Add the avocado, pistachios, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese and 1/2 of the crumbled bacon. Add the hot stock mixture. Cover the blender with the lid, with the center part removed. Cover the lid with a towel. Blend on low speed for 15 seconds. Blend at high speed until the mixture is smooth.
6. PLACE the pasta in a serving bowl. Top with the kale sauce, cooked kale, the remaining crumbled bacon and the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with additional chopped pistachios, if desired.
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