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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 dried 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)

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 580
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 180
  • Fat (g): 20
  • Saturated Fat (g): 9
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 35
  • Sodium (mg): 790
  • Carbohydrates (g): 77
  • Fiber (g): 6
  • Sugar (g): 9
  • Protein (g): 18


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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Reviews (4 reviews)

  • racki | 07/08/2018

    Sorry but this will not be a repeat. The various flavors seemed to cancel one another. And the Balsamic added an unappealing sweetness.

  • Kay D. | 03/28/2018

    (To cemf and Laurel B: They mean dried currants. The combination of dried currants and pine nuts (or other dried fruit and nut combos) is a very old tradition in Sicily that was introduced by the Muslim Arabs took when they conquered Sicily in the 9th century.) I made this dish today, and it is delicious! I used fresh fettuccine (because that's what's actually pictured in the recipe--not linguine). I wouldn't change a thing The ingredient amounts and instructions were all spot on. This would make an excellent vegetarian entree. It also would be a great pasta course if you were planning a multi-course Italian menu.

  • cemf | 03/21/2018

    Seriously good question by Laurel above. If you mean fresh currants, where do you get those this time of year. If you mean dry, say "dry". Please respond!

  • user-6911063 | 02/11/2018

    Dried or fresh currants?

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