kale chip rigatoni

The kale chip: definitely not something my ancestors ate. To construct a “healthy” diet, we emulate the diets of ancient civilizations that thrived. No, kale chips were probably not among the staples consumed by builders of the great civilizations. Kale has shifted from super-trendy to fallen super food status in a few short years. While I am not a food fad fan, and resisted making both kale chips and kale salad for years, variety is the key to a diet that supports health. So, with the recent news that traces of thallium and other heavy metals have been detected in raw kale, I have not stopped cooking or eating it (it also contains heavy doses of Vitamins K, A and C). I eat kale – along with collards, bok choy, watercress, mustard and other dark leafy greens – about once or twice a week, usually cooked. When I do make kale chips, they’d better be pretty perfect.

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serves 4

INgredients

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one bunch fresh winterbor (or red Russian or dinosaur) kale

4 Tablespoons EVOO (3 for the chips, 1 for the pasta)

a few pinches sea salt

5-7 fresh chives

4 cups leftover (or freshly cooked) rigatoni

fresh grated parmigiana cheese, if desired

Process
Preheat the oven to 350°F. It’s all about taking the time to work each piece of kale. First, remove the toughest part of the spine of each large kale leaf. IMG_2484 (1)

Cut each leaf into bite-sized (chip sized) pieces (about 5-7 per leaf.)

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Then wash

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and dry the kale well.

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Place the dry kale pieces in a bowl and disperse the sea salt and drizzle the olive oil on them.

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Massage the salt and oil into the leaves carefully and thoroughly, taking time to touch each piece of kale. Spread each piece of salted, oiled kale neatly on a cookie sheet.

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Bake for 20-30 minutes, checking after 15 minutes to be sure the kale is not too brown or burnt. Remove from oven.

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Chop the chives into tiny pieces. In the meantime, heat a stainless or cast iron skillet on a medium flame for about 30 seconds. Add about one Tablespoon of olive oil and let it warm for another 20 seconds. Add the cooked rigatoni and the chopped chives. Use a wooden spoon to toss the pasta in the skillet. Add the kale chips, toss, and plate the pasta.

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Serve with grated parmigiana cheese if desired, but really not necessary. Serve any extra kale chips on the side, of course.

©Nancy Wolfson-Moche 2015