The key to this dish is spaghettini. If you’re not familiar with spaghettini, it’s a type of pasta that’s thinner than spaghetti, making it a good choice for anyone desiring lighter noodles. Most grocery stores carry it, but if you have trouble tracking it down, try a specialty Italian grocer. Added to this pasta is a full-flavored seasoned black (or lacinato) kale, golden cooked shallots, garlic, lemon, and delicately flavored olive oil. Once it’s cooked, its somewhat bitter flavor develops into an earthy and slightly sweeter version of its traditional leafy cousin, and its high nutritional value makes it a no-brainer. Once the pasta is ready to serve, finish it with a sprinkling of red Hawaiian sea salt. The beautiful red color of this unrefined sea salt comes from the salt’s having been mixed with red Hawaiian alaea volcanic clay. It is rich in minerals and has a softer, mellow flavor that makes it a special addition to this dish. Top everything off with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghettini and cook according to package instructions or until al dente (approximately 9-11 minutes). Drain. Coat and toss the pasta with delicate-flavored olive oil and butter.
- In a large sauté pan, over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add shallots and cook 2-3 minutes until soft and lightly golden. Add garlic and kale. Sauté until kale is wilted and tender, about 5-8 minutes. Season kale with kosher salt, pink peppercorns, and red pepper flakes.
- Add kale, lemon zest, and a light squeeze of lemon juice to pasta and toss well. Add more olive oil or seasonings to taste. Serve and finish each pasta bowl with red sea salt. Top with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
Recipe by Teresa Floyd
Teresa Floyd is a Kansas City-based pastry chef, freelance photographer, and food writer. Her work has been featured on Food52, TODAY Food, Feast Magazine-Midwest, Edible Kansas City, and is an editor for the online cooking publication feedfeed. She is also the creator of Now, Forager—a pastry blog featuring seasonal pastries and confections. Visit her at now-forager.com and on Instagram @now_forager.