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Pasta with Kale, Currants, Pine Nuts, and Garlic Butter

Servings: 4 to 6

The sweetness of both butter and currants is a tasty complement to earthy kale. Look for 5-oz. packages of baby leaves to skip the usual stemming and shredding.


  • Kosher salt
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 oz. baby kale leaves or 12 cups stemmed, shredded kale
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 12 oz. linguine or other favorite pasta
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 13/4 oz. pecorino romano, coarsely grated (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tsp. aged balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze; more for serving
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)


Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, melt 2 Tbs. of the butter. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. In three additions, stir in the kale, tossing until wilted before adding the next batch. Add the wine and currants; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the remaining 1 Tbs. butter, and set aside.

Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water, then return the pasta to the pot. Stir in the kale mixture and pine nuts, and add some of the cooking water to loosen, if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to plates or a serving bowl. Top with the cheese, drizzle with the balsamic, and sprinkle with the pepper flakes, if using. Pass additional vinegar or glaze at the table.


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  • Laurel B | 02/11/2018

    Dried or fresh currants?

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