Quick dinner whip-up: Kale and Kippered Herring Pasta
For the nights when you have little planned and starving by the time you get home (there goes your end-of-day-but-before-I-go-home plans to squeeze another errand in), this is one pretty much straight from your pantry. The only ingredient that you might have to buy beforehand is kale and even without it there are many variations you can use.
Don’t be alarmed by kippered herring – honestly, it’s the better option to yet another can of tuna or salmon. I’ve found that the peel-back tins you find in the very same aisle do just the same job and add omega-3 fatty acids and a smoky flavour compared to your standard tuna pasta.
Short and sweet, here’s a healthy recipe you can whip up in minutes. And just for good measure, I’ve included some of the nutrition benefits and prep tips to each ingredient. Best yet – no marinating required in this recipe!
Kale and Kippered Herring Pasta Recipe
- Chopped kale – or any collard green, which is familiar like lettuce but tons more nutritious. Who knew a green vegetable could be a source of protein?
- Can of kippered herring – or any canned fish. Try to explore outside the tuna sandwich, because many alternatives like salmon, sardines, and mussels contain different proteins and vitamins that you may not get in meat or poultry. Overall, fish has the healthy fats like omega-3. As my mom would say, variety is good for you.
- Juice of half a lemon – easily found in your fridge, non?
- Spaghetti pasta – the eye-ball standard portion is to grab enough that fits within the circumference of your thumb and index finger when you join them at the tips. We’re emphasizing the quick, so don’t be fussy with measurements!
- One garlic clove, smashed and coarsely chopped – it’s fun to smash garlic :-)
- The easiest multitasking task is when you don’t have to move a meter. Boil the pasta and heat a lightly-oiled pan to saute the chopped kale at the same time. Kale can be coarse and bitter when it’s raw, but you don’t need to overcook it like spinach. Add a splash of water and season with salt and other herbs to your liking when the green is getting real bright. Don’t forget to season your pasta as well – a pinch of salt into the boiling pot, please!
- Add the smashed garlic and lemon juice to the kale. Break up the pieces of herring and toss into the pasta.
- And then we wait for the kale to cook and the pasta to finish. Turn the heat down with the kale for fear of overcooking the greens (I like mine to still be a bit crunchy upon first bite). In this time, feel free to look for an awesome playlist for dinner, or make a drink. Speaking of awesome playlists, a good friend Laura W recommended the website Grooveshark that allows you to create and listen to album-quality playlists.
- Go back to the stove. Is the pasta al-dente yet? Tasting can only tell. When it’s ready, drain the spaghetti but reserve some of the pasta water. This is important in pasta world! The starch that comes off from the pasta noodle is in the water, and will help bind the noodles to the sauce or elements in your dish.
- Combine the pasta into the pan of kale and herring. Toss well.
- Turn the stove up and kick up your feet because now you are ready to eat!