My husband was recently gone for work for a month, making a visit home one weekend. It was rough having him gone, but we had a ton of help from friends and family. People have asked how I did it, and the answer is that I didn’t! I wouldn’t have been able to do it alone. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who visited, let us invade your homes and watched my kids.
One of the things that fell by the wayside when I was home with just the kids was cooking dinner for myself. I’d almost always have some random meal of snacks or a frozen dinner. But when I saw this dish I knew I’d be putting it together for dinner and enjoying it for a few meals.
When cooking for one I find it best to make something that is either good cold or good reheated as leftovers. As much as I love to cook, I don’t want to prep and cook a meal every evening. Having a couple nights a week where I can eat what I’ve already prepared is really helpful. This pasta salad is best the day you make it, but is good cold or warm as leftovers.
This recipe comes from The Pioneer Woman. I followed it almost exactly. I added 6 slices of cooked, chopped bacon and then changed the cooking a little. The reason for changing the cooking is not because I thought it would be better or easier, but because I didn’t read through the directions fully before I started…
I really like kale, but only when it’s been softened with some kind of dressing or if it’s been cooked. It’s lightly cooked here, which makes it less bitter. It’s also chopped into fairly small pieces, so it’s not overwhelming. Full disclosure though, if you don’t like kale at all you probably won’t like this. You could leave out the kale completely, but I think that it makes this dish not only lovely but also at least just a little good for me.
This garlic oil is incredible. You could end the dish here and be good. I’ll be using this again on other pasta dishes.
The combination of pine nuts, bacon and parmesan is perfect.
Serve this up right after assembling and eat any leftovers either cold or heat it up a bit.
Kale, Bacon and Parmesan Pasta Salad
Slightly Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
- 12 ounces of bowtie pasta
- 6 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped. drippings reserved
- 1 bunch of kale, washed, dried, ribs removed and chopped fine
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- fresh cracked black pepper
- 3 ounces of shredded parmesan
- Heat a small skillet over medium heat and toast the pine nuts, shaking them frequently to keep them from burning. Once they are golden brown remove from the pan.
- In the same pan heat oil over medium-low heat and add the garlic. Cook, stirring frequently to keep the garlic from burning. Once it begins to turn golden turn off the heat and add in the salt and pepper and set aside.
- Cook the pasta noodles according to package instructions, drain and rinse in cold water. Transfer to a large serving bowl.
- In a large pan heat 2 teaspoons of bacon drippings over medium heat and add in the kale. Cook until softened to your liking, 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat.
- Add garlic oil, kale, bacon, parmesan and pine nuts to the pasta and toss to combine.