You don’t have to add sage to this – and it is perhaps a surprising addition – but my audience of one said it tasted really remarkably delicious. A variation on something I often cook, and a very good one, so I thought I’d note it down for reference.
100g kale, chopped up
2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
1/2 teaspoon of chilli flakes
2 tablespoons of olive oil
40g unsalted butter
2 leaves of sage rolled up and finely sliced
200g pasta (e.g. penne, fusilli, orecchiette)
70g parmesan, freshly grated and conveniently placed near the cooker
2 tablespoons of ricotta and extra parmesan to serve
How to make
Boil two kettles-full of water and add to a large pan with a tablespoonful of salt. When it’s boiling furiously, add the pasta and cook until just al dente. Extract a mug full of the starchy water from the cooking pasta and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, add around an inch of water to a frying pan with a teaspoon of salt, and when it’s simmering, add the kale. Drain after 3 minutes.
In the same frying pan, add the olive oil, garlic and chilli. Turn on the heat to medium and when it’s sizzling, add the butter and the sage leaves and stir for 20 seconds until the butter has melted.
Then add the cooked kale and pasta and 2-3 tablespoons of the pasta water and the parmesan and begin tossing the frying pan, gently just above the heat. Keep doing it until the pasta and the kale are well mixed. As you do it, keep adding further handfuls of parmesan and tablespoons of pasta water and tossing for about 2 minutes. The tossing emulsifies the melting cheese and water into a delicious sauce and coats the pasta with it.
Quickly empty it onto two plates, with a dollop of ricotta on top and more parmesan.