It’s the crunch that gets you… And maybe it was the crunch that saved us?

As Mommy-Daughter shut-ins over the past two weeks, Parker and I enjoyed a dangerous amount of French fries, pizza and the like. (Pneumonia must affect your lungs and your taste buds.) Then, all of the sudden, I decided that she needed greens and I had to have crunch…that wasn’t associated with a potato.

I fell back on my trusty, vitamin-packed kale because, well, is there anything better for you than a bunch of leafy greens? I sautee it with enough garlic and spice to even please a carnivore (aka Chef Hubs). Tossing it with linguini makes it a meal and then whipping up a batch of salty, crunchy breadcrumbs makes it sinfully good, like, Nutella-whipped-cream-crepe-sinfully-good.

Here’s the catch: NO STORE-BOUGHT BREADCRUMBS ALLOWED. Just put ’em away. They have their place, but their place isn’t on my pasta. This Friday I’ll do a homemade breadcrumb tutorial that will change your life… or at least the number of neighbors that stream into your apartment come dinnertime.


Crunchy Kale Linguini
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • 1 bunch raw kale, ribs removed, leaves torn in two
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves of garlic, smashed, skins removed
  • 5 oz (1/3rd box) linguini
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons toasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup fresh breadcrumbs, toasted*
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and stir once.
  2. While pasta cooks, heat ¼th cup olive oil in your largest sautee pan. Add 3 cloves of garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Allow the oil to quickly heat, lightly browning the garlic cloves and toasting the pepper flakes.
  3. Add ¾ths- or all- of the kale leaves and lightly season with kosher salt. With kitchen tongs, turn the leaves so that they are all exposed to the hot pan and lightly coated with olive oil. Remove leaves to a large bowl and repeat with remaining kale as necessary.
  4. Pour al dente pasta into a colander. Transfer pasta and cooked kale back to the large sautee pan. Over very low heat, drizzle the pasta and greens with remaining one tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs* and chopped almonds. Toss to coat.
  5. Plate and finish with a final sprinkle of breadcrumbs and cheese.