Winter Fennel, Sage & Kale Pasta

Sun-dried tomatoes, sage, and white wine are an A+ flavor combination in this kale pasta. You'll love this hearty, comforting, and easy dish!

Fennel, Sage, and Kale Pasta Recipe

Happy December!

I have a confession to make. I’m really terrible at decorating for the holidays. Some years it happens, others it doesn’t… and then some years we end up with a Valentine’s Day tree because we lose track of time and the work of taking down decorations is far less fun than putting them up.

So here’s my version of holiday greenery for you – it comes in the form of a kale pasta! It’s, of course, edible, and the clean up is minimal. 🙂

Fennel, Sage, and Kale Pasta in a braiser

This kale pasta is full of all kinds of warming wintery goodness including a base of sautéed shallots, fennel, and savory, aromatic sage. There’s a bit of briny sun dried tomato for pop and (of course) some lemon juice to add a bit of bright cheer.

I used a fancy pasta shape called toscani because I just love the way the kale wraps around the short curly noodles. However, if you can’t find it, you can use any short cut pasta that you like.

Aside from boiling the pasta, this recipe comes together in one large skillet (or pictured, this pretty braiser), so it’s a great one to have in your back pocket when you need to get a hearty, healthy dinner on the table this winter.

Fennel, Sage, and Kale Pasta Recipe

Serve with olive oil for drizzling and (not pictured, but highly recommended) freshly grated pecorino cheese!

For more healthy pasta recipes, browse the pasta section of our recipe index!


5.0 from 6 reviews
Fennel, Sage, and Kale Pasta
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This one-pot Fennel, Sage, and Kale Pasta Recipe with sun dried tomatoes and walnuts is an easy, healthy, delicious vegetarian dinner.
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup chopped sage
  • 12-ounces toscani pasta (or any short pasta)
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 8 cups torn kale leaves
  • 8 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated pecorino cheese, for serving
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots, fennel, garlic, red pepper flakes, sage, ½ teaspoon salt, and freshly ground black pepper and cook until the fennel is tender, about 8 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente.
  3. To the skillet, add the white wine and let it reduce for 30 seconds. Then, reduce the heat to low, add the kale and toss until just wilted. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the cooked pasta into the skillet. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts, lemon juice and toss.
  4. Finally, season to taste and serve with generous drizzles of olive oil and freshly grated pecorino cheese.
Notes
Make this gluten free by using gluten free pasta.

 

18 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Liberty Blueskyes
    12.04.2018

    what about this for a tree and decorations: a rosemary topiary in a cone shape with red dried chili peppers, dried shitaki mushrooms and kumquats as decorations. Just stick a short wire through the peppers, mushrooms, star anise and kumquats, bend at both ends and hang on ‘tree’. Use throughout the holidays for cooking. Voila no clean up.

  2. Gil
    12.04.2018

    Another keeper. Cooked as posted. D E L I C I O U S ! Thank you Jeanine.

  3. Hello, in your picture it looks like it has chives? Just checking because I love chives!

    • Hi Isabelle, in an earlier version of the recipe, I was using scallions instead of the shallots – but if you love chives toss some on! They’d be great 🙂

  4. Cindy
    12.05.2018

    This was very good-enjoyed all the textures/flavors popping delight in my mouth! I used bow tie pasta. Next time I will use a few more walnuts

  5. Donna from seasonshealings.com
    12.08.2018

    This would make a great holiday side dish. Love it!

  6. Beckie
    12.11.2018

    I should stop being surprised at how good the recipes are from love and lemons! But this is another great recipe. I was out of fennel so I made it without and this was still so good. No too heavy, very easy to make, meat free, and simple enough even for picker eaters. Thanks for another great recipe. 🙂

    • Aww, I love hearing that! I’m so glad your family loved the pasta 🙂

  7. Susan
    12.11.2018

    We really enjoyed this pasta! Nice flavors and not a heavy dish. A great weeknight dinner option.

  8. Megan
    12.13.2018

    Delicious! We didn’t have time to toast the walnuts, but it was a very tasty recipe. Even our toddler enjoyed it (although the tomatoes were pushed to the side per usual). Thanks for another good one!

  9. Lily Argüelles
    01.16.2019

    Hi, could you suggest a good alternate for sage?

    • Hi Lily, I think rosemary would be delicious – I would try about 1 teaspoon, freshly chopped. Hope that helps!

  10. Village Bakery
    01.22.2019

    Awesome healthy recipe. Made it last night and the family loved it! -joe

  11. Susan
    01.22.2019

    I loved the textures but found the dish to be a little dry and in need of more flavor…I was unable to find shallots so used a tiny bit of onion powder…and I might have used too small of a head of fennel…not sure but with all the ingredients I really thought the flavor would pop.. any ideas?

    • Hi Susan, if you can’t find shallots, I would substitute with a thinly sliced small yellow onion – there’s much more water content and sweet/caramelized flavor in the shallots (or fresh onion) than in the dehydrated powder, so I think that was likely the issue.

  12. Vijay
    01.27.2019

    I love the recepie

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.