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Whole Wheat Penne with Mushrooms, Kale and Hazelnut Gravy

Whole Wheat Penne with Mushrooms, Kale and Hazelnut Gravy


  • Salt

  • 1 pound whole wheat penne pasta

  • Dried porcini mushrooms (a handful)

  • 2 cups chicken, vegetable or mushroom broth

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 4 portobello mushroom caps, halved and thinly sliced

  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced lengthwise

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg (eyeball it)

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1/2 cup chopped, peeled hazelnuts

  • 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons flour


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain. While the pasta is working, in a small saucepan, soften the dried mushrooms in the broth over low heat. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the portobellos, shallots and garlic and cook until tender, 6 minutes. Add the kale, cover the skillet and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and the nutmeg and toss. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the porcinis to a cutting board and chop, then add to the kale mixture. Pour the porcini broth into a bowl or cup, discarding any grit at the bottom of the pan; set aside. Wipe out the pan, add the butter and melt over medium heat. Add the hazelnuts and rosemary and cook for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle the flour on top and cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the reserved porcini broth and cook until thickened, 3-4 minutes. Toss the pasta with the kale mixture and gravy; season with salt and pepper.