Thursday, February 28, 2013

Carnivale!: Penne with Kale, Carmelized Onions, and Parsnips

Jewish holidays definitely come in seasons.  In the fall it's Rosh Hashannah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Simchat Torah, one right after another. In the spring we have Purim leading into Passover. 

Right now we've started rolling into our spring holidays.  Saturday was Purim - which is our festival holiday.  I love the story of Purim, with a smart and beautiful heroine saving the Jewish people.  The holiday celebrates this with feasting, games, and costumes.

Thatbaby's school hosts a Purim Carnival for all the students.  They bring in a petting zoo, have music and games, and all the kids dress up in costumes. 

Thatbaby was no exception.

When Thatboy picked him up from school, Thatbaby's teachers had great stories to tell.  Thatbaby stole the show with his little mask and headband.  When he arrived at the carnival, he climbed out of the wagon they use to haul the kids around and began dancing to the music in his costume.  There's video I've been told, and I'm anxiously awaiting it.  He loved the petting zoo, and the ride-on horse toys.

The traditional food associated with Purim (because there is always a food associated with Jewish holidays) is the hamantaschen - a three-cornered cookie in the shape of Haman's hat.  I didn't make hamantaschen this year, but I think that in the future it will be something that I share with Thatbaby.  He's going to love it!

Instead here's a dish as colorful as the Purim holiday.  A pasta with leafy greens and root vegetables.  So seasonally appropriate. Sweet and easy, a nice change from marinara, meat or lemon sauce.

Pasta with Black Kale, Caramelized Onions and Parsnips (From Eats Well With Others)
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 lb parsnips, sliced diagonally
2 1/2 cups sliced onion
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup red wine
3 bunches kale, trimmed and chopped
1/2 cup vegetable broth
12 oz uncooked penne pasta
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  1. Heat half of the oil in a pan over medium-high heat.  Add the parsnips and cook about 12 minutes, until tender and browned.  Set aside.
  2. Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet and lower heat.  Add the onion and cook until the onion is carmelized, about 20 minutes.  
  3. Stir in the thyme and garlic.  Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the wine and cook for about 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in the kale and broth.  Cover and cook for 5 minutes until the kale is wilted and tender.  Uncover and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain the pasta, reserving 3/4 cup of the pasta water. 
  7. Add the drained pasta, parsnips, 1/2 cup of the pasta water, and half of the parmesean to the kale mixture. Cook for 1 minute or until heated through.  
  8. Season with salt and pepper and add more of the pasta water as necessary.  Top with remaining cheese and serve.


  1. This is definitely one of my favorite recent pasta dishes! Definitely a nice change from the norm.

    And seriously...Thatbaby is so adorable. Such a treat of a kid.

  2. We would have all loved to see ThatBaby dancing to the music in his costume.He will need some healthy food like this to maintain his energy:D

  3. I love the posts on Jewish holidays/celebratins/food. New Zealand has a very small Jewish population, so I'm not familiar with a lot of things you post about - and I love reading about it!

  4. Thatbaby is darn cute! His costume is adorable.

    Enjoy the Jewish holidays...

    Kale is rocking this time of year here in North Florida. This is a great way to use kale.