Chicken and Kale Pasta (with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins)!

Growing weary of of kale? Not me! (Although I am growing weary of winter...ugh.)

If there's a more versatile green out there, I'd love to try it, but in the meantime, we go through a 1 lb. tub of chopped kale each week. And happily so. I love it sautéed with red pepper flakes, garlic and olive oil; roasted in the oven with olive oil and a dash of smoked sea salt;  tossed raw in a salad with dried cranberries, sliced avocado and a zippy dressing; wilted under a poached egg; layered on favorite sandwich; added to pizza; stirred into soup...yum, yum, yum!

And kale with there anything better? Like this tasty pasta dish I made with some kale, leftover grilled chicken, toasted pine nuts, and golden raisins. Toss in some toasted bread crumbs and a sprinkle of fresh ricotta (or goat cheese) before serving, and dinner is done!

Chicken and Kale Pasta with Pine Nuts and Raisins
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (choose a bird raised without antibiotics), cooked and sliced
1 1lb. box mini rotelle pasta
2 TBS high quality extra virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing the dish
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup golden raisins
2 cups kale, chopped
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Kosher salt
3 TBS seasoned bread crumbs, toasted
Fresh ricotta or goat cheese, crumbled

Minimal MESS/ingredients/clean-up (Category 2)

To Do:
  • If your chicken isn't already cooked, do so now, and set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat, then cook pasta according to package, then drain. (Do not rinse).
  • Toast the pine nuts (and the bread crumbs, too) in a pan over medium-low heat or in a 350 degree oven until lightly browned.
  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil and add the minced garlic. Cook, stirring often, over medium heat until the garlic starts to soften (don't let it get brown), then add the toasted pine nuts, raisins and kale.
  • Cook a few minutes until kale starts to wilt and the raisins plump up, then add the nutmeg.
  • Add the cooked chicken and pasta to the pan and heat through, then stir in a couple drizzles of olive oil and a pinch or two of salt to taste.
  • Distribute the pasta mixture evenly among plates, then top each dish with the toasted bread crumbs and a bit of the cheese.
  • Enjoy!

Hooray for kale!