The heft of this kale pasta recipes comes from golden, crispy baby portobello mushrooms. When properly cooked, mushrooms are savory, umami packed wonders that easily take the place of a typical protein. Tossed with a few generous handfuls of baby kale and a simple pan sauce, this becomes such a satisfying pasta dish, you won't even question that it's meatless.
In a large stock pot, bring 4-6 quarts of water to a boil. Add 2 tbsp kosher salt and boil the pasta according to package instructions. While the pasta water is coming to a boil and the pasta cooks, prepare the vegetables and pan sauce.
Add about a third of the mushrooms to the pan and toss to coat in the fat. Saute the mushrooms, undisturbed, until browned and crispy. Flip and saute on the other side.
Once the first batch is finished, push the mushrooms to the edges of the pan, add a bit more fat if the pan is dry, add the next batch of mushrooms, and repeat the sautéing process. Continue until all the mushrooms are sautéd, 15-20 minutes.
Push all mushrooms to the edges of the pan. Add another teaspoon of butter or oil to the center of the pan, and add the garlic. Sauté until the garlic is fragrant, 1 minute.
Sprinkle the minced herbs and a pinch of salt over the mushrooms and stir everything together. Sauté, stirring continuously, until the herbs are fragrant, but still bright, 2-3 minutes.
Pour the wine* (see notes) over the mushrooms and herbs. After the initial fizzle, add the kale to the pan and sauté with the mushrooms and pan sauce until the kale barely wilts, 1- 2 minutes.
Drain the pasta and toss with the mushrooms, kale, and pan sauce immediately. Dress with the juice from 1/2 a lemon. Divide onto 4 plates and garnish with salt, pepper, and pine nuts. Serve immediately.
I love using my 10" Lodge cast iron skillet for sautéing mushrooms (and everything else!). It's excellent at retaining heat, which translates to super crisp mushrooms every time. A well-loved cast iron pan will last a lifetime, so it's totally worth the small investment.
If you prefer not to cook with wine, substitute 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.
Storage: store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Kale Mushroom Pasta with Toasted Pine Nuts https://oursaltykitchen.com/mushroom-kale-pasta/