This dinner was crazy good (I can say that ?)! I was obsessing about what I could cook with the fabulous white turnips I got from my CSA Box on Wednesday (see top right of blog about CSA). I cannot explain how good turnips right out of the ground, grown with loving care a few miles away actually tasted. They retained a lovely bite after they were cooked, were mildly sweet, earthy and light all at the same time. Beg, borrow or still baby white turnips ASAP!
It probably was a little unusual to cook them with pasta but they worked like a dream with the saucy bacon flavors and the rich iron-y taste of the kale. Also, adding the rosemary was a stroke of culinary genius (sorry – just excited about turnips!).
Everybody mmmmm-ed their way through dinner and I am now praying for more turnips to come my way.
You Will Need: 1 lb bacon, sliced into 1/2″ pieces, 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced, 1 sweet onion, 6 baby white turnips, quartered, 1 bunch kale (about 8-10 leaves), roughly chopped, 1 small sprig rosemary, cut into about 3 pieces, 1/2 cup white wine, 1 1/4 cups water, 2 tbs heavy cream, up to 1 cup cooked pasta water (will have that after cooking pasta), 1 lb pasta shells (I used Barilla brand), 1 tsp sea-salt, several grinds black pepper.
1 – In saute pan big enough to hold the whole dinner add the bacon and turn heat to low/medium. Fry the bacon until the fat begins to get slightly crispy, stirring occasionally ( 15 minutes approx.).
2 – Prep rest of ingredients while the bacon is cooking and put pasta water on to boil.
3 – Add onions and garlic and continue to cook for another 10 minutes allowing the onions to get soft. Next add the turnip quarters and rosemary and continue to cook for another 8-10 minutes.
4 – Add the wine and water and bring to a gently simmer. Add the cream and stir and then add kale and cover. Simmer on low until kale is cooked (another 10 minutes).
5 – While kale is cooking add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to instructions. When pasta has cooked, scoop out about 1 cup of the pasta water before draining and set aside.Toss into pan and add the reserved pasta water and stir. Take off heat and sprinkle with a few grinds of pepper.