Kale Cacio e Pepe.

Meet my newest love: kale cacio e pepe!

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Or… kale, cheese and pepper. And pasta.

What we have here is theeeee easiest weeknight meatless meal. Like, so simple. Embarrassingly simple! You won’t even believe it. A Monday meal. A meatless meal. A meal so easy that the most time consuming part about it is waiting for that darn water to come to a boil.

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MY OTHER RECIPES

That butter though.

We start by toasting some black pepper in butter. YEP. Very very delish. We’re also going to toss in some kale because it will wilt with the pasta and is such an easy way to get a green in. If I’m not eating kale in salad form, my next favorite option is pasta. I don’t love it in smoothies (too bitter!) but cooked with the pasta? I’m all over it.

I’m generally not the hugest fan of black pepper anything. I mean, give me a black pepper and cheddar biscuit or scone and I certainly won’t turn it down. But I never want freshly cracked black pepper on my dishes in restaurants and it’s even rare I top them with it here at home. I use it IN cooking, of course, but I rarely make it the major flavor player.

Because biting into a peppercorn is a true nightmare for me. No thanks!

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This way though? I can totally handle it. Black pepper, kale and tons of parmesan, mixed in with adorable spaghetti twirls.

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I absolutely LOVE using bucatini for this dish, but I can never find a whole wheat version. And it’s just not… worth it? Is that the word? It’s just not worth it to NOT use whole wheat pasta, because my non-Italian palette can’t even tell the difference!

Anyhoo.

Just look at that light creamy parmesan sauce that comes together to coat the noodles. Dreamy. There’s a serious amount of flavor in here and, like, barely any ingredients. Just the way it should be.

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Kale Cacio e Pepe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound whole wheat spaghetti
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 large bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 3/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely grated pecorino cheese
  • parmesan shavings for topping

Directions:

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil for your pasta. Cook it according to the directions and before draining, reserve about 1 cup of the starchy water.

While the water is boiling, heat a large skillet or pot over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter. Once melted, stir in the pepper. Toast for about 60 seconds. Add in the chopped kale and stir. Add in 3/4 of the water and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add in the remaining butter and the pasta and toss it together (the kale will continue to wilt with the hot pasta). Reduce the heat to low and stir in the parmesan and pecorino. Toss until the cheese is melted and becomes somewhat of a sauce with the water and the pasta.

Serve immediately with extra parmesan shavings and freshly cracked black pepper.

slightly adapted from bon appetit

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The perfect pile.