Tuscan Kale with Orecchiette

  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into ¼ inch thick slices
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 pound Tuscan kale, stems removed and leaves torn into 3 inch pieces
  • 12 oz. orecchiette
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup Pecorino-Romano cheese
  • Freshly grated nutmeg and coarse salt
  • 2 oz. semisoft goat cheese

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and red-pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until onion is softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar and toss to coat. Add vinegar and cook until completely reduced, about 1 minute. Season mixture with salt and remove from skillet.  Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to skillet and increase heat to medium-high. Add kale in batches and cook, stirring, until greens are wilted and just tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Season with salt. Return onion mixture to pan, stir to combine, and cook until just heated through.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta water; drain pasta.  Return pasta to pot, along with kale, butter, and Pecorino. Cook over medium heat, stirring and adding enough pasta water to form a light sauce that coats pasta. Add nutmeg to taste and season with salt. Divide among 4 bowls and serve each with a few thin slices of goat cheese on top and red-pepper flakes to taste.


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