If you are a seasonal eater in North Carolina, then you likely have had your fair share of kale. It is grown in our state nearly year round. In addition to its health benefits, kale is also a forgiving green. It does well in sauteed dishes, soups, salads, and much more. Kale also requires some creativity–especially if you are eating it year round.
My quest for easy one-pot meals and creative use of kale led me to this Pork and Kale Pasta recipe. Firsthand Foods ground pork is the perfect rich buttery flavor to compliment the slight bitterness of the kale. Pasture-raised pork contains a higher level of healthy Omega fats, making this dish a great option for the health conscious crowd. As with all of our recipes, you can definitely change up the ingredients. Collards are a great substitute for kale and rice is a great substitute for pasta if you are on a gluten-free diet. Our ground pork is a versatile ingredient and will adapt to any flavor profile you choose.
1 lb. Firsthand Foods Ground Pork
3 cups chopped kale
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ cup red onion, diced
2/3 cup vegetable stock
1 tsp. dried sage
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 lb. penne or fusilli pasta
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
- Brown the ground pork in a large sauté pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Drain and set aside.
- Wipe out excess grease from the skillet. Place it over medium heat and add 1 Tbs. olive oil.
- Add the onion and sauté for about 8 -10 minutes or until the onions caramelize.
- While the onion is cooking, boil water in an 8-quart stockpot. Add 1 tsp. salt. Cook pasta according to the package directions.
- Add the kale and sauté until it begins to wilt. Add the minced garlic and sauté 1 minute.
- Add 2/3 cup vegetable stock and the sage. Stir to combine and simmer for about 3 minutes on medium heat.
- Add the ground pork back to the pan and stir to combine. Add cooked pasta, salt and pepper to taste, and stir to coat.
- Top with Parmesan cheese and serve.