Penne with Kale, Feta, and Olives

March 5, 2012

LIfe is busy, no matter what, but this week everything seemed to be in turbo-drive.  It was the kind of week that left me yearning for more quick meals.  Meals that take only minutes to prepare, but still contain enough substance and flavor intensity to make an impact.  More meals like this one.

Penne with Kale, Feta and Olives is no ho-hum vegetarian pasta dish.  Kale itself is a flavorful green, but combining it with the briny olives and pungent feta make this dish a powerhouse.  Parsley, garlic, and lemon zest scatter over the top adding even more dimension to this simple dish. The recipe entered our rotation a few years ago when it was featured in Bon Appetit.  Any kind of kale works here, but I prefer Dinosaur or Lacinto Kale.  I reduced the oil recommended in the original recipe.  Feel free to drizzle olive oil over the top if you so desire.

Penne with Kale, Feta, and Olives

adapted from Molly Stevens via  Bon Appetit

serves 4

1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1 garlic clove, minced

1 large bunch kale or other green (about 10 cups packed), washed

12 ounces penne

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 ounces)

1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives


Fresh ground pepper

Place a big pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil.  Meanwhile, combine the parsley, lemon zest, and garlic in a small bowl and set aside.  Slice the kale into strips 1/2 inch wide.  Compost any woody stems.

Once the water is boiling, add salt and toss in the kale and cook 2-3 minutes or until it is tender. Use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove cooked kale to a strainer to drain.  Bring water back to a boil, add the penne and cook until just tender.  Drain pasta, but reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Return pasta to the pot. Toss with olive oil, cooked kale, feta, and olives.  If the pasta seems too dry, add back in a bit of the cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Top with parsley mixture and serve.

Print this recipe:  Penne with Kale

You may also like:

Sausage and Kale Dinner Tart

Fresh Rosemary Linguine with Caramelized Onion, Walnuts, and Blue Cheese

Moorish-Style Chickpeas and Kale


8 Responses to “Penne with Kale, Feta, and Olives”

  1. Simply Tia Says:

    So healthy! I like!!

  2. This sounds delicious – I would think the lemon goes great with the Kale! :-)

  3. steve Says:

    This pasta dish sounds great. We might try preparing it at Original Steve’s in Davis. What is the olive type and amount?

  4. TasteFood Says:

    What a wonderful combination of ingredients! I love all of it.

  5. Hannah Says:

    I have all the ingredients to make this tonight – love it when this happens! Thanks for sharing.

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