spaghetti with shrimp, kale and tomatoes

prep time:  tbd
cook time:  tbd
servings:  4

1 medium-size bunch black kale - stemmed and washed
2 tablespoon olive oil
12 medium shrimp - peeled and deveined
2 garlic cloves - minced
1/2 - 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 14.5-ounce can chopped tomatoes in juice
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 - 1 teaspoon oregano or thyme
3/4 pound spaghetti
crumbled feta or grated parmesan - garnish

1.  fill a large pasta pot with water and bring to a boil.  add salt to taste and add kale.  boil 2 - 3 minutes, until tender.  transfer to a bowl of cold water.  squeeze out excess water.  chop medium fine and set aside.

2.  season shrimp with salt and pepper to taste.  heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy skillet or a wide saucepan and add shrimp.  do not stir for a minute, then turn shrimp and toss in the pan until seared on the edges, pink and cooked through, about 4 minutes.  remove to a plate.

3.  turn heat down to medium and add garlic and hot pepper flakes.  cook, stirring, until fragrant, 10 - 20 seconds, and stir in tomatoes with liquid, sugar, salt and oregano.  turn heat up to medium-high and stir often as tomatoes come to a brisk boil.  turn heat down to medium and cook, stirring often, until tomatoes have cooked down and taste very fragrant, about 10 minutes.  stir in kale and simmer for another 3 - 5 minutes.  stir in shrimp or keep separate, remove from the heat and keep warm.  add water if sauce seems dry.

4.  bring water in pot back to a boil and add spaghetti.  cook al dente, following timing instructions on the package but checking for doneness a minute before the indicated time.  set aside 1/2 cup of the cooing water from the pasta, in case you want to moisten the sauce more, drain pasta and toss with tomato and kale mixture.  add water from the pata only if you think the mixture seems dry.  serve the pasta and top each serving with 3 shrimp if you haven't tossed the shrimp with the sauce.  sprinkle feta over the top.

- new york times - february 2014

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