If you try any recipe from this humble blog, you should truly consider this one. It’s probably in my top 3 recipes of all times that I have tried and tested for this site. Chock full of good for you things, easy to make on a weeknight, and the added bonus of super simple-to-reheat as leftovers, this meal is, hands-down, a winner. I found it on one of my favorite blogs, 101cookbooks, and now I am happy to share it with you.
What’s harissa, you ask? (Yeah, I didn’t know either. It’s ok.) So, we learn together. Harissa is a spicy red pepper paste or sauce commonly used in North African dishes (thank you, Wikipedia.) Apparently, you can make your own, but for those of us on a tight time schedule, you can also find it pre-bottled for you and ready to go in the international cooking aisle at your local grocery store. (I can vouch that Whole Foods has it and some specialty stores, as well.) It’s got a tangy, spicy flavor that I am really loving right now (it may replace sriracha for me in some dishes).
Anyways, this dish has a lot going on. Kale, for one thing. Probably one of the ultimate super foods. Black olives for a little briny saltiness. Toasted pine nuts for a little crunch and nutty flavor. I thought about adding in some capers, but I forgot, but I’m pretty sure that they would be awesome. Add in some garlic and some lemon zest, and you’ve got yourself a lot of flavor. You could use any type of pasta that you wanted to, but I love the heartiness of some whole wheat spaghetti here (I used the extra-thin kind).
I loved this so much that I took it into work for the next three days to eat for lunch. That’s a huge deal for me, as I detest leftovers. I cannot wait to make this again.
Harissa Spaghetti with Kale
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Sea salt, to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons harissa
8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
1 bunch of kale, cleaned, deveined and torn into pieces
1/2 cup oil-cured black olives, sliced
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
Zest of one lemon
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the crushed garlic, salt, olive oil, and harissa; set aside.
3. Once the water is boiling, cook the pasta as directed. Just before removing the pasta from the heat, add the kale and cook until bright green and wilted, between 5-10 seconds. Drain the pasta.
4. Return the (now empty) pasta saucepot to the heat and add half of the harissa mixture to the pot.
5. Add the drained pasta/kale, the black olives, toasted pine nuts, and lemon zest. Stir until combined and heated through, about 1 minute or so. Serve immediately and drizzle with the additional harissa sauce, if desired. (*I found this extra harissa sauce to be excellent to add in to the leftover pasta to avoid it from drying out too much.)
Source: Directly from 101cookbooks.