I first came upon this recipe in a leftover turkey article. You can indeed use leftover turkey, or any other leftovers. Cooked beans are also excellent here. Or make the recipe with just the kale and cheese. Good both ways. If you don’t have a large skillet that can accommodate all the ingredients, you’ll want to transfer the skillet contents to the pasta cooking pot.

12 oz – 16 oz dried pasta
1 1/2 c reserved pasta water, divided
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 c finely chopped onion
2 minced garlic cloves
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/4 c dry white wine
1 1/2 t grated lemon zest or 1 t dried lemon peel or 3/4 t lemon extract
8 c or so thinly sliced kale leaves, stemmed if necessary
2 c shredded cooked turkey; or cooked (white) beans, optional
3/4 c (6 oz) sliced goat cheese, or cream cheese, or feta cheese
1/2 c pitted, chopped black olives, optional
2 T lemon juice
2/3 c grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, plus extra for serving
black pepper, for serving

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 1/2 c cooking water. Drain pasta.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes or so. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, another minute. Stir in the white wine and lemon zest. Cook until most of the wine has evaporated, about a minute. Add the kale, in batches, if necessary, along with 1/4 c of the reserved pasta cooking water (or more white wine). Cover and cook until the kale has wilted and tender, 5 minutes or so, depending on the type of kale used.

3. Add the turkey or beans. Heat through. Stir in the goat cheese and remaining 1 1/4 reserved cooking water. Cook, stirring until the cheese has melted and a creamy sauce has been created.

4. Add cooked pasta to the skillet and stir well to combine. Or return pasta to its cooking pot and transfer skillet contents to the pot. Stir well to combine. Stir in olives, and lemon juice. Sprinkle with grated cheese and incorporate.

5. Serve, with extra grated cheese and a grind of black pepper, if you like.