This dish is called “priest stranglers” because of the shape of the pasta, which resembles twisted ribbons. According to an old tale, these delicious Fontina and kale dumplings got their name when a gluttonous priest ate too many of them too quickly.
For maximum antioxidant power, use a buckwheat pasta. Wheat pasta also works in this dish. You can substitute spinach for kale, but if you do, use ricotta instead of Fontina.
Note: This is not a good recipe for anyone on a Paleo diet, or looking to avoid wheat/gluten. For everyone else, it is delicious.
- 2 bunches of kale, stems removed and leaves cut into ribbons
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of dried sage or 10 sage leaves
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed with the side of a knife
- 2 cups (300 g) finely diced peeled yellow potatoes
- 3/4 pound (300 g) pasta (fettuccine or tagliatelle)
- 5 oz (140 g) coarsely grated Fontina cheese
- 2 to 4 tablespoons (50 to 100 g) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving
Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. While the pasta water is heating, brown the onions, garlic, and sage in the butter in a saucepan until the onions are brown and the mixture has a nutty smell. Take the mixture off the heat and discard the garlic. Chop the kale.
When the pasta water reaches boiling, add kale and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the potatoes and cook for another 5 or 6 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Scoop them out, shake off excess water, and set aside in a bowl. Boil the pasta al dente or softer, if your family prefers.
Drain the pasta and add to the kale and potatoes. Season with 1 teaspoon salt. Pour the butter and sage over the vegetables, then toss with Fontina. Serve with Parmigiano-Reggiano and freshly ground black pepper.