Thursday 29 September 2016

Forkful's easy suppers: Spaghetti and creamy kale

Aoife McElwain

Published 01/04/2016 | 02:30

Spaghetti and creamy kale. Photo: Mark Duggan
Spaghetti and creamy kale. Photo: Mark Duggan

There really is a grand stretch in the evening these days, isn't there? Every winter, I seem to forget the spring will spring upon us once again. Don't get me wrong, I like cozy winter evenings that call for delicious comfort food. But I'm always glad to see those long, sunny evenings return when our clocks change. Even though I should know it's coming, it's always a pleasant surprise.

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There really is a grand stretch in the evening these days, isn't there? Every winter, I seem to forget the spring will spring upon us once again. Don't get me wrong, I like cozy winter evenings that call for delicious comfort food. But I'm always glad to see those long, sunny evenings return when our clocks change. Even though I should know it's coming, it's always a pleasant surprise.

This new lease of life in our evenings always makes me reach for lighter suppers, filled with greens. If you're a seasonal shopper, the produce available to you at this time of year really starts to widen. We've got purple sprouting broccoli on the way, spring greens and new potatoes. Kale is a wintry green and a great gateway to springtime greens. I love using it with lighter recipes, such as this light pasta supper.

This recipe is so simple and quick. The secret ingredient here are anchovies. I like to add these to most cream-based pasta sauces I make. It adds a subtle salty depth that even people who think they don't like anchovies will love. I promise.

If you've had your fill of kale already this year, substitute with lightly boiled tenderstem broccoli, green beans or asparagus for a spring pasta supper.

Pair this supper with a hunk of crusty bread and a cheeky glass of white wine, and you've got your spring supper sorted.

Spaghetti and creamy kale

Serves 2

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

150g of spaghetti

2 anchovy fillets

100g of kale

Half a teaspoon of chilli flakes

1 clove of garlic, finely grated

2 large tablespoons of crème fraiche

Freshly cracked black pepper

Handful of freshly grated Parmesan

METHOD

1. Fill a saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Add a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil to the water. Cook the spaghetti according to its packet's instructions, usually for about 9 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the kale by removing the leaves from the tough stalks. Roughly shred the leaves and give them a good wash.

3. When the spaghetti is nearly done, heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and add the anchovy fillets. Fry for a couple of minutes, until they have almost disintegrated.

4. Add the chilli flakes and mix well with the anchovies.

5. Add the shredded kale leaves and fry for a further three minutes.

6. Add the grated garlic and fry for a further minute.

7. Finish the sauce by adding the crème fraiche to the kale and mix well. Continue to fry until the crème fraiche is heated through.

8. Drain the pasta. Mix the kale sauce into the pasta.

9. Serve in bowls topped with a good crack of black pepper and grated Parmesan cheese.

This week's storecupboard essential:

Black Pepper: It might seem like an obvious one but having a good pepper mill at your disposal makes a difference, especially when it comes to creamy pasta dishes. Invest in a decent pepper mill, get yourself some good quality black pepper and start cracking over your pastas and pizzas.

Irish Independent

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