Pasta with clams and kale

I got a mess of kale and put this together with ingredients on hand, inspired by a Portuguese recipe. All the other ingredients are shelf-stable or typically on-hand, which makes this dish a great last-minute easy-prep meal.



  • kale, 1 bunch, chopped
  • clams, 4 cans, drained with juices reserved (approximately 1 cup juice)
  • pancetta, 2-4 oz
  • onion, one large, chopped
  • thyme, fresh from the garden
  • garlic, 4-5 cloves, crushed and roughly chopped
  • white wine, 1/2 cup
  • rotini or similar pasta, 1/2 lb., cooked and drained

Directions, roughly:

  1. Cook the kale in salted boiling water. Drain the kale and set aside.
  2. In a large pan, fry the pancetta over medium heat. Pull the pancetta to the side of the pan to drain it. Remove the pancetta, leaving the fat in the pan.
  3. Increase the heat to medium-high. Fry the chopped onion in the pancetta fat until it is soft, clear and golden at the edges. Turn the heat back to medium. Add the garlic and thyme. Cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the pancetta and kale.
  4. Add the wine and clam juice. Stir and deglaze. Continue cooking until the kale is as soft as you like it (about 10-15 minutes).
  5. Add the pasta, stirring until it is heated evenly.
  6. Add 3 tbsp butter to the pan. Stir.
  7. Add the clams and cook while stirring constantly unti the clams are heated. Do not cook the clams for too long or they will become tough.

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