Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Pasta with Kale and Anchovy Butter

Anchovies are good for more than salad dressings and pizza toppings. That piquant, briny flavor pairs well with earthy kale and a simple butter-based sauce too.

Finely chopped flat anchovies packed in oil melt right into the sauce along with the butter, imparting only rich flavor and creamy texture. I used six of them (about two inches long), which yielded a packed tablespoon—all you need to enjoy the flavor without overwhelming the dish.

The other star of this recipe is kale—one of those “super foods,” that, frankly, I think lives up to the name. Simply sautéed with olive oil and seasoning makes cooked kale tasty on its own, but it’s also ready to be tossed with the pasta and served for one deliciously simple (and super), easy dish.

Note: I needed only two servings this time, but the recipe is easily doubled. For the anchovies, add only three more.

Serves 2

  • 6 oz thin spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 packed tbsp finely chopped anchovies (about 6 total, 2 inches long)
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Sauce Ingredients
  1. Cook the spaghetti in boiling, salted water until al dente, 6 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.
  2. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the kale and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the kale is wilted and tender, 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a medium pot (or deep skillet) over medium-low heat and add the butter, swirling to coat. Add the garlic, anchovies, and lemon juice and cook, stirring frequently, until the anchovies have broken down and the garlic is soft, 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the drained pasta, reserved pasta water, and cooked kale to the skillet. Toss to coat well with the anchovy sauce and cook until hot throughout, 2 minutes.
Kale Beginning to Cook
Cooked Kale
Butter, Garlic, and Anchovies 
Cooked Sauce
Divide and serve hot.

Pasta with Kale and Anchovy Butter

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