Orecchiette with Smoked Prosciutto and Kale recipe

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Pasta is absolutely among the top three of my favorite foods. A beautiful red wine to compliment the thousand different ways you can toss, bake or stuff happiness. I often eat Orecchiette with spicy sausage, cannellini beans and broccoli rabe. Here, I added kale and Prosciutto which makes one of my favorite dishes a bit lighter, but a perfect way to enjoy life a little better.


10 Fennel Seeds
2 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 small red onion (peeled and small diced)
5 cloves of garlic (peeled and thinly sliced)
6-8 slices of Smoked Prosciutto (medium diced)
½ pound of Fresh Kale (cleaned, large stems discarded, ruffed chopped)
¼ Cup of Chicken Stock
¼ Cup of Pasta Water
1 pound of Orecchiette
1 Tablespoon of un-salted butter
Fresh Ground Pepper
1 teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes


1. Heat water for pasta; while water is heating, place a large 10 inch sauté pan on a burner and place on low. .
2. Place Fennel seeds in the pan and toast until slightly dark and remove, set aside.
3. When water for pasta comes to a boil; add a pinch or two of kosher salt. Add pasta and stir.
4. While sauté’ pan is on low add olive oil then onions and garlic. Allow for mixture to “sweat”. Do not brown only soften vegetables.
Orecchiette5. When onions and garlic are ready, add prosiutto and cook for another 2 minutes until ham is slightly crisp.
6. Ground or chop Fennel seeds and add to mixture and stir.
7. Add Kale and stir; add chicken stock and reduce flame.
8. When pasta is almost done, add a ¼ Cup of pasta water and continue cooking.
9. Drain pasta and add to pan; add butter and pepper flakes.
10. Toss pasta in pan; serve immediately.

Separate in Bowls and add more EVOO and fresh black pepper.

Cooking Notes:
Freshly ground black pepper, extra virgin olive oil, toasted fennel seeds and un-salted (sweet butter) make the difference in any recipe. You can substitute smoked ham for Prosciutto.

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