Creamy Kale & Lemon Fettuccine with Pancetta

I ordered some Tuscan Kale fettuccine from my CSA this week and it was delicious! Made locally in NY too, which is great. I’ve been craving a creamy pasta dish lately, so that is exactly what I made. I added fresh chopped kale to compliment the kale fettuccine. I also added a lot of lemon, mainly because I love lemon and kale together, but also because eating citrus with your leafy greens helps your body absorb more of the nutrients it contains. Double win. All in all a really nice Tuesday dinner!

Ingredients:
Tuscan Kale fettuccine (though this would work with any pasta!)
1/2 a small bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
1 small shallot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 ounces pancetta, roughly chopped
1/2 cups half & half
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
Fresh parsley, for topping
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Start by chopping all of the necessary ingredients so they are ready to go as needed. I find it helps to get all the labor done before you start cooking. Also get a large pot of salted water boiling for the pasta. In a saucepan, drizzle some olive oil and cook the shallot for a few minutes. Next add the garlic, cooking for another minute or so. Add the panetta and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes. Toss in the kale and cook until wilted. Turn the heat down to low and slowly add the half & half. Let it come to a simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or so. You’ll notice that it thickens a little. Next add the Parmesan cheese followed by the lemon juice and zest. Stir well and salt/pepper to taste. At this point you can shake some red pepper flakes in there if you like a little heat. Lastly, add your pine nuts to a pan and toast them dry until lightly browned and fragrant.

Once the pasta is ready, strain it and set a cup of pasta water off to the side. Add the pasta to the creamy mixture and coat the noodles well. Add a little pasta water until you have the smooth consistency you like. Top with toasted pine nuts and fresh chopped parsley. Enjoy!

BONUS PHOTO! My 8 month old nephew watching me cook my dinner via FaceTime. I tried to narrate my “show” for him like Julia Child, which I think he appreciated.

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Okay, now back to pasta…..