Mary Ann's Blog

Erin Go Bragh (Ireland Forever)

I don't want to rain on anyone’s St Patrick’s Day Parade but we should brace for the possibility that the venerable and wildly popular saint was not Irish but Italian. Historians have done some really meticulous research and it is a known fact that St Patrick’s father, Calpurnius was a high Roman diplomat, a Roman citizen living in England with Patrick’s mom, Conchessa. So technically he is Italian! Historians also theorize that his real name was Maewyn Succat but it became Patrick when he was ordained a priest. Regardless of his true heritage, he is always associated with driving out the snakes of Ireland, another theory an using the shamrock to explain the Trinity to non-believers As for green on St. Patrick’s Day…think about it, Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle. So go ahead and celebrate with green beer, green rivers and green hair. I like my green in this delicious pasta dish with an emerald green kale sauce. Erin go Bragh! (Ireland Forever)

Farfalle with Kale Sauce
Serves 4

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup thinly sliced leeks, white part only
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound kale, leaves only, washed and shredded
1 tablespoon salt
Grated zest of one large lemon
½ pound farfalle, fusilli or rigatonic
¾ up grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Salt to taste

In a medium size saute’ pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat; stir in the leeks and cook just until they begin to wilt; stir in the garlic and continue cooking just until it softens. Cover and keep warm.

Fill a 4-quart pot with water and bring to a boil. Stir in the salt. Add the kale and cook just until the kale wilts. Use a slotted spoon or spider to drain and transfer the kale to the saute pan. Mix it well with the leek mixture.

Transfer the mixture to a blender, food processor or Vitamix.

In the same 4-quart pot, add an addition al tablespoon salt and cook the pasta until al dente. It should be cooked through but not mushy; if the pasta does not hold its shape, it is overcooked.

Remove ¼ cup of the cooking water and set aside. Drain the pasta and transfer it back to the pot.

Process the kale mixture adding 2 tablespoons of the reserved water. The sauce should have a smooth but not too thin consistency. If the sauce is too thin, add a little more water. It should have the consistency of heavy cream. Add the sauce to the pot with the pasta; stir well to combine over low heat until it is hot. Add the lemon zest and cheese and mix well. Salt to taste.

Serve hot.

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