Wednesday, June 18, 2014


I know this is probably sooo last week to some of you, but Billy and I just got back a few minutes ago from the seeing the movie The Fault In Our Stars…and I bawled!  I didn’t know the story; I thought this was just a movie about a teen age love story; but it's so much more than that, a couple of times I even had to fight with everything that I had to keep from sobbing out loud which I'm pretty sure would have made everyone else in the theatre uncomfortable.  I’m not going to give anything in the movie away, but if you feel like you need a good cry, this movie will do it!  BTW the movie was Billy's choice, my big strong man is just a big ol' softy!

Speaking of love stories…If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know of my great long time love affair with pasta, it’s the one food that I eat at least once a week.  Well lately I’ve been having a little fling with my newer love, kale.  So I brought my two loves together into one dish, and they got along famously!  Okay, that just got weird.

Perfectly cooked boxed pasta is delish and convenient, but this dish would also be really good using Fresh Spelt Pasta.  I love kale’s earthy flavor, sturdy texture and that it’s loaded with nutrients!  Earthy mushrooms are great with kale and creamy cannellini beans have protein and fiber which helps you to feel full for a good long time.  This comforting pasta dish is not only a flavorful, healthy meal, but it’s budget friendly too!  And I needed that extra dough to get myself a box of tissues cuz I still wanna cry when I think about that movie darn it!

Here’s what you do.

Add some linguini or spaghetti to boiling salted water and at the same time cook some mushrooms (almost any kind of mushroom will do) with olive oil in a heated skillet (medium-high heat). 

When the mushrooms have brown on one side, add some minced shallots and garlic, season with a pinch of salt and pepper; stir this frequently and cook until the shallots have softened. 

Notice that I didn’t season the mushrooms when I first add them to the skillet.
Salt will cause the mushrooms to release their liquid, and then you can’t get that deep golden brown color, and browned mushrooms have so much more flavor than just cooked mushrooms.

Add a healthy amount of kale (I used Lactano, aka dinosaur, aka Toscana kale which has a mildly cabbage like flavor) and a can of cannellini beans, which have been drained to the skillet. 

Add some more olive oil and season with a little salt & pepper as well as some crushed chili pepper if you like a little kick.

Cook the pasta for a couple of minutes less than the package states so that it's cooked just a little less than al dente.

Remove 1 ½ cups of the cooking water from the pot before draining the pasta.

When the kale begins to wilt, add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water to the skillet; cook this for 2 to 3 minutes until the kale is completely wilted and is soft.

The drained pasta should have been added back to the pot and tossed with a splash of olive oil, just to keep it from sticking to itself.  

Add the contents of the skillet to the pot with the linguini as well as ½ cup of the pasta cooking liquid, cook and stir, adding more of the remaining pasta cooking liquid if the pasta gets too dry, until the pasta is cooked to your liking (2 to 4 minutes).

This healthy pasta is so tasty that I didn't even add cheese, but if you've got to have it go ahead and top it with some Parmesan!  Kale Mushroom and White Bean Linguini is makes for a complete vegetarian dinner, but it would also be great with served with some chicken, Italian sausage, or steak.


Serves 4

¾             box         Linguini or spaghetti (a box is 1 pound)
8              oz.          Mushrooms, (whatever kind you like) sliced
¼             cup         Olive oil, divided use
1                            Shallot, minced
2-3           cloves      Garlic, minced
8              cups       Kale, stems removed and chopped, (about ½ bunch)
1-15          oz. can    Cannellini Beans, drained
                             Salt & pepper to taste
2              pinches   Crushed red pepper (optional)
1 ½          cups        Reserved pasta cooking liquid

1.   Put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta.  Add a generous amount of salt to the boiling water, and add the pasta to cook for 2 to 3 minutes less than the package instructions suggest, just a little less than al dente.  Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the pasta water.  Drain the cooked pasta, return it to the pot and toss it with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking to itself. 
2.  While the pasta is cooking; heat a tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the mushrooms to the oil.  When the mushrooms are browned on one side, stir in the shallots, garlic, a pinch of salt and pepper.  Add a bit more oil if needed.  Stir frequently.  When the shallots have softened, add the remainder of the olive oil, kale, and the cannellini beans; season with another pinch of salt & pepper as well as the crushed red pepper (optional).  Cook stirring for 2 to 3 minutes, just until the kale wilts; add the cannellini beans and about a ½ cup of the reserved pasta water and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes until the kale softens.
3.  Add the cooked kale, mushrooms, and beans to the pot with the pasta, stir in about ½ cup of the reserved pasta water and cook over medium to medium-high heat, stirring continuously until the pasta is completely cooked to your liking, add more pasta water if needed to keep the pasta from being to dry.  

If you like, top with Parmesan cheese.

Serve as a meal on it's own or add some chicken, Italian sausage, or steak to the pasta.

 You may also like:

Lighten Up Shrimp Scampi Pasta with Spinach

Miso Glazed Eggplant and Kale

Roasted Broccoli & Tomato Pasta

Vegetarian Collard Greens plus Baked Plantains


  1. Simple yet very delicious..this is my kind of everyday meal!

  2. I'm SO due for a good cry, so I need to scamper over to the theater and see The Fault in Our Stars. Always love a good tear-jerker, and I enjoy watching movies that have meaning. Thanks for the recommendation!

    This linguini looks amazing! You really covered all your bases with this one. A good hearty meal with lots of flavor and greenery! mmmmm!

  3. These flavours sound terrific together! That's my kind of pasta.