Noodles with creamy tomato sauce + kale

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An equally accurate title for this recipe would be kale with noodles and tomato sauce: it all depends on your point of view. I’ve always liked a little pasta with my sauce, rather than the other way around, and the same principle applies even when I’m enjoying noodles that are much less calorie-dense than traditional pasta, like these shirataki noodles. Plus, we all know kale is the secret to life.

When I was growing up, it seems like my family ate pasta for dinner at least twice a week – it was an easy way for my parents to accommodate my vegetarian diet while also eating meat themselves (my dad left marinara sauce on the side for me while the rest of the family had bolognese). Later, when I was in college and my friends and I were learning to cook on our own, we’d often make pasta because a) our parents made it a lot, so it reminded us of home-cooked meals, b) it was quick and easy, c) there weren’t too many pans to clean afterward, and d) it was cheap. All these are good reasons for college students to eat pasta, but it left me feeling about spaghetti the same way I feel about Bob Marley: sure, it’s great, but I’ve had enough to last me a lifetime.

These days I rarely feel the urge to ring my macaroni chimes, but at the same time, I find noodles really fun to eat, and also a great vehicle for sauces, which make life worth living. I paired these neutral-flavored noodles with nutritionally packed kale and this silky, fluffy tomato sauce. The noodles soaked up the flavor of the sauce, while the kale relaxed under the acid of the tomatoes and the fat of the avocado. I added some velvety white beans for protein, and had a great dinner in front of me in less time than it takes to watch a rerun of Seinfeld.

Noodles with creamy tomato sauce + kale

Serves 1 very generously or 2 modestly

Ingredients

  • 1/2 bunch curly kale, stemmed, washed, and chopped
  • 1 7 oz package shirataki noodles, drained
  • 1/2 cup canellini beans
  • 1 heaping cup whole + 1/2 cup halvedcherry tomatoes, divided
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 heaping Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp miso
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 smallish avocado
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • A few leaves fresh basil, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Start by boiling a pot of water. Note: in general, this is a pretty good place to begin any time you’re cooking dinner. I don’t know what you’ll use it for every time, but you’ll often find a use for it. When the water is boiling, blanch the shirataki noodles in it for about 3 minutes, then re-drain and allow to cool slightly.
  2. Prepare your tomato sauce: Place a heaping cup of cherry tomatoes in your food processor along with the garlic, nooch, balsamic, tomato paste, avocado, and herbs, and puree until it’s well blended but still a little textured. I wanted the texture, which is why I used my food processor instead of my blender, but if you’d prefer a smoother sauce, you can use a blender.
  3. Place your kale in a large bowl and pour the sauce over it, then add the noodles and toss to combine. I used my hands, which is why I recommend letting your noodles cool a bit first! Don’t want to burn ourselves, now, do we? Once the noodles and kale are tossed evenly with the sauce, add the halved cherry tomatoes.
  4. Top each serving with a ladle or two of beans and some basil, and enjoy.

Want more things to make with shirataki? Try this one!

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