Spaghetti with Braised Kale

I found this recipe in a Bon Appetit magazine and it has become one of my favorites. It takes only about 30 minutes total to prep and cook. Braising the kale for 20 minutes removes any bitterness and leaves this luscious flavor. The garlic has such an amazingly sweet flavor after braising with the kale for that long. It’s amazing how much it develops after cooking it for that long. The recipe says this feed four as a first course. Mark and I just make it for our dinner and we finish the entire thing easily!

I use Lacinto Kale (which is also called Dinosaur Kale). It’s pretty easy to find, but if you can’t find it I assume regular curly kale would be fine. Though use Lacinto if you have the choice. It doesn’t seem as bitter to me. And the best part, it’s so good for you. Kale is high in antioxidants, omega-3s and cancer prevention nutrients.

Sometimes we make only the kale and leave the pasta out in order to serve it as a side with fish, chicken, or meat. Last night we made this with the pasta. Believe me, you will have a newfound love for kale after you have this!

Spaghetti with Braised Kale
Taken from Bon Appetit Magazine


  • 1 pound lacinato kale (about 2 bunches), large center ribs and stems removed, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 8 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound spaghetti
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Finely grated Parmesan cheese


Rinse kale. Drain; transfer to bowl with some water still clinging.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Add sliced garlic and sprinkle with salt; cook until onion is golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add kale and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss until wilted, about 3 minutes. Cover pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Continue cooking until kale is very tender, stirring occasionally and adding water by teaspoonfuls if dry, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in medium pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Add cooked spaghetti to kale mixture in pot. Add lemon juice and 2 tablespoons reserved cooking liquid; toss to combine, adding more liquid by tablespoonfuls if dry. Sprinkle spaghetti with grated Parmesan cheese and serve.

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