Several months ago, my daughter and I watched a Rachel Ray show where she was talking about and making different recipes that were “Comfort Foods”. When she started making this recipe, I was intrigued, but then I heard the word “Anchovies” and I thought, Nope! But as I watched her prepare this, my daughter and I both thought, that looks really good though! So the next day we stopped at the local store got the ingredients (even the Anchovies!) and we made it, and it was delicious! I am posting the recipe here, with a few tweaks I did when I made this dish!
Kale and Anchovy Pasta
Salt and black pepper
1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
About 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
6-8 flat anchovy fillets
1 fresh chili pepper, such as red cherry or Fresno, seeded and sliced or finely chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch cavolo nero (also called Black, Tuscan, Dinosaur or Lacinato) Kale, stemmed and shredded
A few grates nutmeg
2 large egg yolks
Grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving a cup of the pasta cooking water.
While the pasta is working, heat the EVOO, four turns of the pan, in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the anchovies, cover the pan with a splatter screen or loose foil and let the anchovies melt into the EVOO. Add the chili pepper and garlic and stir for 2 minutes. Add the kale and let it wilt; season with a little nutmeg.
In a measuring cup, beat the egg yolks with some of the reserved pasta cooking water. Toss the drained spaghetti with the kale, a few handfuls of Pecorino Romano, lots of black pepper and the tempered egg yolks; add more pasta cooking water as necessary to evenly coat. Serve the pasta in shallow bowls.
When I make this dish, I have found you can add a few things, depending on whether you are making this as a side or a main dish. I have added a three cheese blend instead of just Romano, also mushrooms, diced onion, diced tomato, Italian sausage, cut up cooked chicken (a great way to use leftovers!), and even lean ground beef. I posted a picture of this on my Facebook page the last time I made it and had many people ask me for the recipe!