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Kary Osmond: My kitchen heats up as the weather cools down
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Kary Osmond: My kitchen heats up as the weather cools down

From the 5 low-effort, big-flavor recipes to try this week series
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You can adjust the heat of this dish to your liking.

I’m up north this week, taking in all the magnificent fall colors that the trees have to offer. With the weather being on the cold side, I wanted a pasta dish to warm me up. Something with a little heat to balance the sweetness of the onion and fennel. You can adjust the heat to your liking, by adding some more red chili flakes, or even better, a fresh red chili.

Zesty Fusilli Pasta

Serves 4

  • 1 pound dried fusilli pasta
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and shredded
  • 1 fennel bulb, stalks removed, cored and sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 3 tablespoons capers, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegan Parmesan cheese

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta. Set a timer as per package instructions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, drain well and set pasta aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add oil, onion, garlic, and red chili flakes. Cook and stir for 5 minutes, or until the onions begin to soften.

3. Add the kale and fennel, cook and stir until the kale begins to wilt. Deglaze the pan with white wine, cook and stir until most of the wine has reduced.

4. Add in the lemon zest and juice, capers, parsley, 2 teaspoons salt, pepper and 1 cup of reserved pasta water. Cook and stir for 1 minute to marry together all the flavors. Add the cooked pasta. Toss the pasta to coat it in the sauce. Garnish with vegan Parmesan cheese.

Tasty tips

  • Make sure to finely sliced the kale (shredding); this will make it more manageable to cook and enjoy.
  • A fennel bulb looks like a bulb with a few celery stalks coming out of it. To prepare fennel, remove and discard the stalks (or save them for a vegetable stock), starting at the base, slice into quarters. This will expose the core and make it easy to remove. The core doesn’t have to be removed, but for this recipe it’s preferred.

(Kary Osmond is a Canadian recipe developer and former television host of the popular daytime cooking show “Best Recipes Ever.” Her easy recipes include helpful tips to guide you along the way, and her love of plant-based cooking offers healthy alternatives to some of your favorite dishes. Learn more at karyosmond.com.)

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