The recipe this week is all about cramming as many cooking greens into one meal by making a simple, vibrant sauce for pasta. We used baby kale, kohlrabi leaves, and turnip greens, but you could also add spinach, mustard leaves (if you’re prepared for a spicier sauce!), and later in the season broccoli greens and big kale.
This recipe comes from New York Times Cooking, but we adapted it to include the bounty of greens from the share.
The Greenest Sauce
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for serving
- Full bag of baby kale
- Kohlrabi leaves
- Turnip greens
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Pasta like pappardelle or rigatoni
- Coarsely grated Parmigiano- Reggiano
Put a large pot of generously salted water over high heat, and bring to a boil.
When water is boiling, add kale, kohlrabi, and turnip leaves, and cook until tender, but not mushy, about 2 minutes. Pull out the hot, dripping leaves with tongs, and put directly into a blender or food processor. (Don’t drain the pot; you’ll use that same boiling water to cook the pasta.) Add some of the olive oil. Blend into a fine, thick green purée. Taste, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, add more oil if needed, and then blend again.
Add the pasta to the still-boiling water, and cook according to directions on the package. Ladle out about a cup of the water to save for finishing the dish, then drain the pasta and return it to the dry pot. Add the kale purée, about 3/4 of the grated cheese and a splash of the reserved pasta water. Toss until all the pasta is well coated and bright green, adding another splash of pasta water if needed so that the sauce is loose and almost creamy in texture. Serve in bowls right away, and top with an extra drizzle of olive oil and the rest of the grated cheese.