Bacon, Kale and Sun-Dried Tomatoes Penne

Happy Super Bowl day. Jessi and I are not the biggest NFL fans—especially since out home-town Panthers were a disgrace this season. We won't be doing much for the big game tonight but thought we'd pass along a quick dish so you can have easy plan for tomorrow when everyone is hung over. This pasta creation is a tasty treat. The combo of kale, sundried tomatoes and bacon really gives it a strong, rich flavor. It's pretty quick to throw together and is perfect for a lighter meal after a long day and a late supper. We added about double the amount of kale from the original recipe, so feel free to use less if you're not a huge kale fan. You could probably substitute spinach as well. You'll notice our mix of pastas—that's because we did not have any of the orecchiette (that the original recipe called for) and had to throw in some randoms since we weren't up for a another store run. Modified from Cooking Light, serves 3-4.


  • 8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
  • 8 cups kale (not quite a whole bunch)
  • 2 slices center-cut uncooked bacon
  • 1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, enough to top
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Cook pasta in boiling water 7-8 minutes or until almost tender. Add kale, and cook 3 minutes. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
  2. While pasta cooks, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat 4 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon; crumble and set aside. 
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add sun-dried tomatoes, crushed red pepper, and garlic to drippings in pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. 
  4. Add pasta mixture, reserved 1/2 cup cooking liquid, black pepper, and salt to pan; toss to combine.
  5. Top pasta mixture evenly with bacon and cheese; drizzle evenly with lemon juice.


Unknown said...

i'm a huge kale fan, so this looks delicious!!

Conor @ Hold the Beef said...

I love these simple dishes with nice bold flavours, and think you are most clever for providing a good hangover friendly dish :)

The Super Bowl has been in the news here too, though most of the attention seems to have been on Christina Aguilera?

Leslie said...

Ohhh the shaved parm on top....YUM

Velva said...

Beautiful! Flavorful, healthy and delicious. What else can I say? Awesome.

grace said...

i like the blend of pasta shapes--that automatically makes it more fun! good flavors and colors, too. :)

Juliana said...

I have to try to add kale in my diet...this pasta dish look delicious, colorful and tasty :-)

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