Easy Kale Pappardelle


I am often reminded that there were years in my childhood where I refused to eat anything but cheesy buttered noodles.

As an adult, at the end of a long day, when I don’t feel like going to the store and don’t even feel like cooking at all I hear that 5 year old version of me saying

“Buttered noodles though?… how about cheesy buttered noodles?”…

And my grown up voice says “But you’re not five Roxana… you’re better than a bowl of buttered noodles”….

Kale then? Kale cheesy buttered noodles? Deal.


This is crazy fast and simple.  You cook the kale and pasta in the same pot and then bring it all together in a big sauté pan with red pepper flake, butter, parmesan and, most importantly, salty pasta water which gives this pasta an actual sauce which is waaaayyy more sophisticated than simply buttered noodles, right?


You’ll need:

  • 16 ounces pappardelle pasta
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped, large stems removed
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 0.5 cup grated parmesan
  • Salt/Pepper/Red Pepper Flake

To Make:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the kale and cook for thirty second to one minute, until just wilted.  Remove with tongs or a hand strainer (leaving water behind). Place in a colander and run over cold water to stop the cooking.  Squeeze kale to release water.
  2. Return water to a boil.  Cook pasta to al dente according to package instructions.  Reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, heat two tablespoons of butter in a large sauté pan over medium high heat.  Add pinch of red pepper flake and kale.  Sauté for a few minutes.  Add pasta to sauté pan with kale (I just used tongs to transfer directly from boiling water).  Add additional butter and pasta water a little at a time so the pasta is not dry.  I ended up using two more tablespoons of butter and 0.5 cup of pasta water.
  4. Add parmesan cheese and stir to combine, adding more pasta water if it gets dry.  Season with additional salt/pep if needed (I didn’t need salt but added a little black pepper even though there was already red pepper flake, yolo).  Serve, sprinkling with additional parmesan.

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