Farfalle with Kale Sauce / Farfalle con Salsa di Cavolo Nero

Serves 8


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 to 1 cup thinly sliced leeks, white part only
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 to 1 pound kale, leaves only, washed and shredded
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 pound farfalle, rigatoni or fusilli
  • Grated zest of one large lemon
  • 3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a medium sauté 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.
  2. Fill a 4-quart pot with water and bring to a boil. Stir in the salt. Add the kale and cook until the kale wilts. Use a slotted spoon or spider to drain and transfer the kale to the sauté pan. Mix it well with the leek mixture.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor.
  4. Cook the pasta in the same pot the kale was in until al dente. It should be cooked through but not mushy; if the pasta does not hold its shape, it is overcooked.
  5. Remove 1/4 cup of the cooking water and set aside. Drain the pasta and transfer it back to the pot.
  6. 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 thick, add a little more water. It should have the consistency of heavy cream.
  7. 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.
  8. Serve hot.

This recipe was featured on Season 29 - Episode 2919.

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Could fresh spinach be substituted for kale?

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