Cascading Kitchen Notes
The initial idea for this recipe came from "Six Seasons" cookbook. There are several methods within the recipe that are worth reviewing and implementing in your kitchen.
- You can save energy by using the same water to cook both the kale (or any other boiled veggie) and noodles. The practice infuses flavor into the noodles, saves water and energy.
- Pay attention to the amount of salt used in cooking pasta and remember to bring the water to a rolling boil before adding salt. The water should taste like the ocean.
- When you drain pasta: don’t wash it with more water, don’t coat it in oil. If you do, the sauce you apply won’t adhere to the pasta.
- Once the pasta is drained, return it to the non-reactive pot/pan and finish cooking it in ½ the sauce so the noodles can absorb the flavor.
Kale Sauce and Noodles
Cascading Kitchen adaptation of Six Seasons recipe “Kale Sauce with any noodle” pg 312
If you're going to use bacon, start that first:
- In a large heavy frying pan slowly cook ½ lb minced bacon until it renders the fat and gets crispy. Drain and set aside. (If it's clean bacon, save the rendered fat for cooking.)
Saute the onions:
- Mince one whole onion and sauté in ½ cup oil w/ 2 cloves minced garlic. If you like bacon AND your bacon is high quality, i.e. clean, use 1/4 C rendered bacon fat and 1/4 C olive oil to saute the onion and garlic. Dietary toxins finally settle in the fat of an animal so it's especially important that the animal be clean if you use the fat.
- Slowly cook until onions are sweet and garlic is just barely golden.
- Pull off the heat and let it cool.
2 bunches of kale (1lb) Washed/stemmed/ coarsely chopped
Make the Sauce. In a large pot of boiling water:
- Add enough salt so it tastes like the ocean.
- Cook Kale 5 minutes. No longer!
- Use tongs to remove kale and place in a blender. Plenty of water will come along with the blanched kale to help out the sauce.
- Blend thoroughly and then pulse in the oil/onion/garlic mixture.
- Don’t over blend or you’ll ruin the olive oil.
Set the Sauce aside and cook the pasta
- Bring the same pot of water back to a boil.
- Add ½ lb. of your favorite small pasta. Cook until aldente according to pasta directions.
When the Pasta is done:
- Scoop out 1 cup of pasta water (just in case you need some in the final stages to thin the sauce)
- Drain the pasta and turn the aldente pasta back into the pan. Add 1/2 of the green sauce.
- Add ¼ cup of grated parm.
- Don’t add any extra salt, the salt from the parm and bacon will be more than adequate.
- Cook for another 5 min. until the pasta is fully cooked and the sauce begins to flavor the pasta through and through.
- Fold in the remaining sauce and turn out in a large shallow bowl.
(It always helps to preheat the serving dish with hot water.)
Sprinkle the top with crispy bacon bits and a ¼ cup of grated parm.
If I was making this for adults and no children I would definitely add a pinch of hot pepper flakes to the sauté mixture. You don’t want the sauce to be HOT, just a bit of heat underneath the flavors.
An alternative to parmesan…add a dollop of goat cheese on top of each serving and skip the parm altogether. In this case taste and add salt as required. Don’t add the goat cheese directly into the sauce if you want to keep that nice bright green color.