Fabulous Freelancer Foodie Recipe: Sautéed Kale, Pasta, and Toasted Breadcrumbs

Whether it’s for lunch or dinner, this filling and flavorful pasta with sautéed kale and toasted breadcrumbs recipe is sure to delight!

Note: this recipe first appeared in The Salem News, and is presented here in a slightly modified form.


  • 1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 cup of coarse fresh breadcrumbs
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • ¼ cup of water (tentative)
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic, minced and divided
  • 2lbs of kale, thick stems cut off, rinsed well, and roughly chopped
  • 1lb of spaghetti (or chosen variation of pasta)
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and generously season with salt.
  2. Heat half of the 1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil in a very large, deep skillet with a lid, over medium heat.
  3. Add the breadcrumbs, season with salt and pepper, and toast them, stirring frequently until the breadcrumbs are a light golden brown.
  4. Add half the garlic, and cook and stir for 1 more minute, until you can smell the garlic.
  5. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the toasted crumbs to a plate lined with paper towels.
  6. Pour out any remaining oil, and carefully wipe out the skilled with paper towels.
  7. Return the skillet to medium heat, add the rest of the 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, and heat over medium heat.
  8. Add the remaining minced garlic, and stir for a few seconds.
  9. Add the kale and the ¼ cup of water (if the kale is damp from rinsing it, skip the additional water, partially cover the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until the kale is fairly wilted and tender.
  10. While the kale is cooking, cook the spaghetti/chosen pasta in boiling water (according to its package directions) until it’s al dente.
  11. Remove the spaghetti/chosen pasta from the boiling water, and drain it.
  12. Add the pasta, half of the boiling water, and the lemon juice to the pan with the wilted kale, and toss to combine well. Use the pot you cooked the pasta in if that works better in terms of size. If the mixture seems somewhat dry, add more cooking water. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed.
  13. In a small bowl, stir together the toasted breadcrumbs with ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese.
  14. Transfer the pasta and kale to a serving bowl or to individual plates, and top with the Parmesan breadcrumbs.
  15. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese, and serve hot or warm.

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