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RECIPE: Kale, Bacon & Pistachio Pasta

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.

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 packed with flavor.

And it uses a charming short cut of pasta, the 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.
 
 
RECIPE: KALE, BACON & PISTACHIO PASTA

Ingredients For 8 Servings

  • 1 package (16 ounces) pasta, such as campanelle or fusilli
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 6 cups chopped kale, divided
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning*
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 avocado, peeled and seeded
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese, divided
  •  

    campanelle-kale-bacon-pistachio-mccormick-230

    A sauce of kale and bacon for St. Patrick’s Day pasta. Photo courtesy McCormick.

     
    __________________
    *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.

     

    campanelle-barilla-230
    Instead of the same old same old, try a new
    pasta shape every time you buy short cuts.
    Photo courtesy Barilla.
      Preparation

    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 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 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 center part removed. Cover the lid with a towel. Blend on low speed for 15 seconds. Blend on high speed until 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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