Meatless Monday: Farfalle with Kale & Mushrooms

A whole week has past by and now we are back to meatless monday.  I must tell you I have had a great food week despite it looking like Home Depot and Lowe’s exploded in my house.  (That is also why I am a little late with posting this.) Our house is smallish but just right for the two of us, normally.  Throw in a bathroom remodel, lots of items usually contained in that room scattered about the house, and mega amounts of tools and supplies then it is not quite big enough!  I am talking door jam parts in the dining room, bathroom door in the living room, and all my lotions and bathroom potions in the spare room.  The one room that has stayed (almost) unspoiled is the kitchen.  This was at my request make that insistence.  A girl has to have at least one clean room in the house and if it is the hub of the home (which in our home is the kitchen) it leaves me feeling a little more normal in the remodeling chaos around us.  Plus I was still able to bake some awesome light and airy apple spice bars, and make the recipe that I am sharing below for another pasta dish this time staring mushrooms and kale.
Up until most recently my exposure to kale had been as an ingredient in Zuppa Toscana.  I am of course referring to that wonderfully delicious Italian cream based soup also starring sausage and potatoes.  It really is the worst way to eat your greens.  But I love it.  I am also a wee bit ashamed to admit that this is how I first became acquainted with kale.  All that aside I am stretching forward, not looking back or beating myself up over it, and working hard at trying to stay in a good clean eating routine.  I must say I now love kale in many other recipes as well.  For that reason I was really excited when I came across a recipe in Family Circle for Campanelle with Mushrooms and Kale.  Besides being a lover of kale, I am also a lover of all things mushroom so I was in a hurry to try this one out.
Since I had some recent success in the kitchen with my Spicy Kale and Chèvre Penne, I decided to adapt the recipe from Family Circle using the same ingredients. Vegetable stock, goat cheese, and greek yogurt are again the basis for my pasta sauce.  After a quick analysis for nutrition done here, I was able to see the results of my adaptation had reduced the calorie count per serving ( I based it on 6 servings for this recipe) from 535 to 403.  There also was a slight reduction in fat grams per serving from 15 grams to 13.7.  All in all not to shabby and it made for a delicious dinner.  And with the reduction in calories there is room for a glass of wine with dinner if you choose to do so!  I also love béchamel sauce and this creamy sauce with the addition of fresh nutmeg reminded me of that as well, but without all the fat and calories.  The mushrooms provided an earthy flavor and all the caramelized brown bits that accumulated while they were sautéing gave added flavor to the dish.
For a crazy week we did pretty well on the eating front.  We made another wonderful dish this week Szechwan salmon, and ate out at both a stellar Indian place called The Bombay Star (check out my review of the place), and one of the places on my list (not to mention one of Pittsburgh Magazine’s 25 Best Restaurants for 2012) Nicky’s Thai Kitchen.  We also checked out the trendy hipster Bar Marco in the Strip District. I highly recommend the Chocolate Panna Cotta or just a visit to try one of their many unique cocktails.  An enjoyable week overall for this foodie despite a little bit of chaos in the kitchen and a lot of chaos beyond.  I hope to share more details about some of the places I visited last week.  In the meantime, enjoy this week’s meatless monday recipe and let me know what you think of it.

Farfalle with Kale & Mushrooms
Recipe by:
  • 1 pound farfalle pasta
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 lb. mushrooms (white, baby bella, shitake) halved or quartered
  • 12 oz kale finely chopped
  • 1½ cups vegetable stock
  • 3 oz goat cheese
  • ½ cup greek yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. Boil water for pasta, salting water. Cook according to package directions.
  2. In the meantime add 1 tbsp butter to large sauté pan. Add diced onion to pan sautéing until slightly caramelized. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Cook ½ mushrooms in 12 inch sauté pan (don't overcrowd the pan is the reason for cooking ½ mushrooms at a time) adding 1 tbsp of butter to pan. Toss mushrooms to throughly coat with butter. Season with salt. Sauté until golden brown. Remove from pan, set cooked mushrooms aside, and repeat this entire step with the remainder of the mushrooms.
  4. Add ½ cup of vegetable stock to pan scraping up any brown bits that have caramelized on the bottom. Return sautéed onions to pan along with 12 oz chopped kale.
  5. Add additional cup of vegetable stock. Cook until kale is wilted and tender about 8 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg. Return mushrooms to pan to heat through.
  6. Once pasta is cooked, drain and return to cook pot.
  7. Pour kale-mushroom mixture over hot pasta. Add goat cheese and greek yogurt, stirring to throughly combine.
  8. Serve while hot, adding additional fresh nutmeg over top as desired. ( I think some toasted chopped walnuts added as a garnish just before serving would also be delicious!)
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