Pick your temperature. I ate this pasta piping hot; then I had it a few hours later cold from the fridge. I love both equally. The garlic is punchy but tempered by the cool creaminess of the yogurt. Since the kale is blended into green bits, the earthy mineral flavor is subtle, which makes this dish a super way to get kale into people who are squeamish about it. (Yes, those people exist!) And, of course, lemon and Parmesan cheese are old lovers, so your mouth will be happy with each bite. If you fancy some spiky flecks of heat, chili flakes are perfect.
CREAMY LEMON & GARLIC KALE PASTA
Ingredients: 16 ounces short pasta (like penne), 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt, 2 tsp. minced garlic, juice of one lemon, 2 cups shredded kale, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus more serving, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, 1/2 cup pasta water, and chili flakes (optional).
1. Cook pasta according to package directions in well-salted water. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water.
2. While the pasta cooks, add into a food processor or blender the yogurt, garlic, kale, lemon juice, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Blend for 1 minute. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper to your liking.
3. Drain the pasta reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. Blend half of the pasta water into the sauce. Tip the pasta back into its cooking pot over medium heat. Stir in the sauce, making sure to coat all of the pasta, adding the remaining pasta water as needed. Serve with extra Parmesan cheese and chili flakes if you like.
To stretch the recipe and add protein, stir in pre-cooked bite-sized meat when you add the pasta water to the sauce. Chicken, salmon, or shrimp would be delicious.