Spicy Kale with White Beans and Orzo

May 12, 2014

Spicy Kale with White Beans and Orzo

By Kusuma Rao, www.Ruchikala.com

Makes 2 servings

4 oz orzo pasta
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
¼ – ½  teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 garlic cloves, grated finely on a microplane
1 bunch of kale, coarsely chopped
½ cup cooked white beans (such as cannellini, white kidney, navy or garbanzos)
2 oz shaved Parmigiano Reggiano or Asiago cheese
Juice and zest of 1 lemon

Cook the pasta: Cook the orzo pasta in heavily salted water.  Drain the pasta just before the pasta is al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water in a separate cup for later use. Toss the drained pasta with two tablespoons of olive oil, toss to coat, ensuring the pasta is thoroughly coated. Set aside

Making the sauce

In a large skillet, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan on low heat along with the crushed red pepper.  Allow the peppers to infuse the oil for 1-2 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for about 25 seconds.  Increase to medium-high heat and add kale.  Saute for 1-2 minutes with a hearty pinch of salt, cook until the kale turns bright green and just starts to gently wilt.  Add white beans, another pinch of salt, as well as lemon juice and zest.  Add ¼ cup of the pasta water, stir to combine. Turn off the heat. Add orzo pasta, stir to combine.

To serve: top with shaved Parmesan or Asiago as well as (optional) a fresh drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

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