Chorizo, Kale & Orecchiette


Last year we celebrated Christmas Eve… with other Jewish families. As stereotype would have it, there wasn’t a single Chinese food container in sight! Our hosts were amazing and presented a beautiful dinner. One of the dishes was so delicious that while I was eating it, I was already thinking about making it for my family the following week!

Kale, Chorizo & OrecchietteKale, Chorizo & Orecchiette

Our host combined three main ingredients together in a way that I’ve never experienced before and the result was outstanding! The surprise binding ingredient that really brought all of the flavors together was a small splash of truffle oil.  

The added bonus was that this dish fit into my requirement of flexibility. In the months that followed, I’ve made different versions of this dish once every two weeks. Here are some modifications (and they’ve all come out fantastic): substitute spinach for the kale; substituted turkey sausage, tofu sausage, polish kielbasa or chicken sausage for the chorizo; and I’ve swapped out the orecchiette for orzo or another small pasta. I’ve also played with proportions. If I made this as a side dish, I doubled the kale/spinach and halved the pasta and halved the sausage. It’s the combination of flavors that will always work well together!

Enjoy!

Chorizo, Kale, Orecchiette & Feta

Chorizo, Kale, Orecchiette & Feta

Cooked Orecchiette

Cooked Orecchiette

Prepare the kale... remove the fiberous center stem

Prepare the kale… remove the fiberous center stem

Finely dice an onion

Finely dice an onion

Saute the onion and then add the kale

Saute the onion and then add the kale

Four cloves of garlic

Four cloves of garlic

Add garlic to sauteed kale and sweat

Add garlic to sauteed kale and sweat

Slice chorizo into coins

Slice chorizo into coins

Brown chorizo

Brown chorizo

Add chorizo to large bowl that has the orecchiette and kale

Add chorizo to large bowl that has the orecchiette and kale

Add feta and dress

Add feta and dress

Kale, Chorizo & Orecchiette

Kale, Chorizo & Orecchiette

Kale, Chorizo & Orecchiette

Serves 6 as an entree

Ingredients

1 pound orecchiette (or GF pasta of your choice)
1 large onion, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large bunch of kale, stems removed and torn into bite size pieces
approximately 1 cup of chicken broth or water
1 pound chorizo (or other sausage including tofu sausage), cut into coins
1/2 pound feta, cut into small cubes
1 tablespoon truffle oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

1. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook orecchiette to al dente, as per package instructions (about 8 minutes). Drain and rinse with cold water. Put into a large bowl and reserve.
2. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium/high heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
3. Add kale to the skillet.  The large bunch will wilt down significantly. Saute… You will need to periodically add chicken stock (or water) so that the kale doesn’t stick to the skillet. Add 1/4 cup at a time, as needed. You may also want to cover the skillet to let the kale steam a bit. Saute for about 10 minutes until kale has completely softened and wilted.
4. Remove kale mixture from skillet and add it to the reserved orecchiette. Loosely cover.
5. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the same skillet and heat to medium/high.
6. Add chorizo to the skillet and saute until browned.
7. Add chorizo to bowl with reserved orecchiette and kale. If any oil remains in the skillet, add that also!
8. Add feta & truffle oil to the bowl.
9. Mix to combine. Taste and season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to your taste.
Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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