Penne with Sautéed Kale, Lemon, and Feta

/// June 19th, 2012

As the last month of my 24th year quickly comes to a close, I’m pleased to feel as equally grown, as I am incomplete. Sure, I’ve certainly slipped more “in character” to who I truly am; I’ve learned to stand up for myself, to use my head over my heart (at least, most of the time), to listen to what people are really saying, and that my insatiable sweet tooth is here to stay. But I’m plagued by fascination and frustration to what the mysterious future holds. It’s all a waiting game, I suppose.

While I wait – and try to seem patient about it – I’ll stay content chowing down on kale. Kale’s my new veggie friend. Kale understands what a girl wants. Kale understands how to mix well with bacon, so dudes like it too.

Kale chills me out when I’m ready to stress shop for ridiculously priced pillows. Kale soothes thigh touching anxiety after accidentally eating 3 ice cream cones on a no-ice-cream-for-three-weeks-diet. Kale keeps it interesting to cook greens when ordering Chinese sounds like a way better idea. Kale works out the kinks to a crazy, cookie frenzied mind.

I’ll be honest… before last year, I never even heard of the stuff. But now, I find myself on full blown kale kicks; I can’t get enough! Kale and eggs in the morning makes breakfast a major win. Kale in salads is quirky, and refreshing. Kale turned chips is my mid-day guilt-free mouth pleaser. Kale in smoothies is weird and awesome and healthy.

Kale sauteed with lemon, garlic, red onion, butter, and white wine makes my life a little brighter; toss it in some penne, add a generous amount of tangy feta and melt slowly into dinner dreamland.

Dinner it up tonight with kale and pasta! Served cold, this instantly turns into a legit lunch salad – hello, convenience!

Penne with sautéed kale, lemon, and feta – Baker by Nature

1 bunch kale (about 3 cups) shredded

1 red onion, finely diced

6 – 10 cloves garlic (I used 10), thinly sliced

4 tablespoons butter, divided

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup white wine

8 oz pasta, cooked al dente (or however you like it)

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pan or skillet over medium high heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, and crushed red pepper, cook until garlic begins to look golden, about another 5 minutes. Add the kale, one tablespoon of butter, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and all the lemon zest to the pan and toss until everything’s mixed together, and the kale looks slightly wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Add the white wine, stir, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until the kale is very tender, about 12-15 minutes.

While your waiting, cook the pasta according to your liking. I always go al dente – but choose whatever noodle texture you find more pleasurable. Save a little water from the pasta before you drain it, just in case you find your final dish too dry.

Toss the cooked pasta, the final tablespoon of butter and lemon juice into the kale pot and stir to combine. Add a small amount of water, a little at a time, if it seems too dry (I only added about 2 tablespoons). Finally, stir in the feta and serve!

20 thoughts on “Penne with Sautéed Kale, Lemon, and Feta

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Em! I was just thinking about you the other day – miss your posts!! How is your summer break, love?! I have no idea what my birthday details are, the boyfriend is developing a surprise plan!!

  1. Caroline

    This sound deliiiicious. I’m a sucker for pasta. Oh, and I just turned 24 last week…feeling the same way as you. Only time will tell I guess, eh?

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      And lovely to meet you, Maureen!! I hope you come around to kale – if you cook it long enough and flavor it up, I’m sure you can find a way to love it!!


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