Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pasta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Roasted Garlic, and Kale

As usual, I am a horrible food blogger - I get so hungry making dinner that I dive in and am halfway through my meal before I realize I didn't take a picture of the food when it looked the most appealing. Then I figure, oh well, too late now, so I eat the rest. Afterwards, the regret sets in - this meal was so delicious, and now I don't feel like I can share it on my site because I don't have any pictures.

Well, this one was so simple, delicious, and comforting that you'll just have to use your imagination.

So! Imagine this: You look in your refrigerator and you have a large bowl of heirloom cherry tomatoes. Yellow, green, orange, red, purple jewels just begging to be eaten. And you know they taste even better roasted just until their skin starts to crack and their juices leak. You also have a head of monster-sized garlic, a rubber-banded together bunch of dark green kale, and a fresh block of parmesan just begging to be shaved into a pillowy cloud of deliciousness.

You can see why I was inspired, I'm sure. These ingredients, cooked just so, and served over pasta made one heck of a fantastic meal last night. Aaron and I usually exercise some self-control and save portions of dinner for lunch the next day, but last night all self control went out the window and we ate every single last bite. "It will be better freshly cooked," we told ourselves. I'm not sure that's true, but it was a good enough excuse for us.

Pasta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Roasted Garlic, and Kale

3 cups cherry tomatoes
2 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

1 bunch kale (about 12 stalks)
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter
1 c. stock (I used vegetable, but chicken would work well too)
salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, to taste

1/2 lb. rotini, or other short pasta, cooked in salted water per manufacturer's instructions
1/2 c. shredded parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. On a large roasting pan, toss cherry tomatoes and unpeeled garlic cloves with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or just until the skins on the tomatoes start to burst and the juices start to escape. Remove from the oven, and set aside.

Meanwhile, wash your kale well and remove the leaves from the tough stem. Chop the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Add olive oil and butter to a saute pan over medium heat. When butter has completely melted, add kale and saute until the leaves begin to wilt. Add in the stock, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, cover partially, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until leaves are soft.

While kale is cooking, remove garlic from its skins and smash with a spoon in a small bowl. Add smashed, roasted garlic to the kale and stir. Add in tomatoes and accumulated juices. Serve kale and tomato mixture over pasta, and top with parmesan to taste.

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