Fettuccine With Kale, Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese

Fettuccini With Kale, Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese

When trying to ease back into a work week after the holidays, the last thing you want is a complicated dinner. So this month, we’re sharing quick five-ingredient dinners, starting with this with this hearty kale, caramelized onions and goat cheese pasta from Amy Chaplin’s At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen. Here’s how to make it…

Fettuccini With Kale, Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese
From At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen

For this pasta, I use my own marinated goat cheese (recipe included below) with great results, but it also works really well with goat cheese right from the grocery store. I owe credit for this recipe to Melinda Dimitriades, a talented Australian food purveyor and chef, who arrived at my sister’s tiny New York City apartment many years ago with a tub of her famous cheese. She made us a pasta dish that we all swooned over. We have been making variations of it ever since, and this one with kale has become a cold-weather favorite.

Recipe: Fettuccini With Kale, Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese
Serves 4-6

You’ll need:

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 medium to large red onions, thinly sliced
Sea salt and ground black pepper
3/4 lb whole wheat fettuccini
10 cups sliced Lacinato kale (from about 1 1/2 bunches)
8 oz goat cheese, divided

Warm olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add onions. Sauté for 10 minutes or until beginning to brown. Add 1 teaspoon salt, lower heat slightly, and continue cooking for 15 to 20 minutes more or until onions are soft and caramelized.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a large pinch of salt. When onions are caramelized, add fettuccini to boiling water and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or per package instructions, until al dente. Drain pasta and return to pot.

While pasta cooks, stir kale into onions, cover skillet, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until tender, stirring once or twice. Add onion and kale mixture, three quarters of the goat cheese, and lots of black pepper to pasta; toss well. Drizzle in more oil and season to taste. Divide among bowls and top with a crumble of remaining goat cheese; serve immediately.

If you want to make marinated goat cheese, you’ll need:

8 oz fresh goat cheese log, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
8 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
3 garlic cloves, halved lengthwise
4 bay leaves

Lay goat cheese in a single layer on the bottom of a dry, wide-mouth, jar. Pour in enough olive oil to cover cheese. Add a couple sprigs of thyme, a few peppercorns, 2 pieces garlic, and a bay leaf. Continue layering the remaining cheese, oil, and seasonings until you have used up all ingredients. Lightly press the last layer of cheese down to make sure it’s completely submerged in oil. Seal jar and place in the fridge to marinate for one week. Cheese will keep for at least two months.

Bring to room temperature before serving.

The oil is luscious drizzled over toast or pasta, with or without the cheese, or you can use it in salad dressings. Keep any leftover oil in the fridge until ready to use. Note: The cheese will spoil if it isn’t covered by oil at all times. If you remove a few pieces, make sure the remaining cheese is covered, adding more oil in as needed, before closing the lid.

Fettuccini With Kale, Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese

Thank you, Amy! Your cookbook is beautiful.

P.S. More easy recipes, including delicious Boursin pasta and rotini with blue cheese and spinach.

(Recipe excerpted from At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen by Amy Chaplin. Photographs by Johnny Miller. Reprinted by arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications Inc., Boulder, CO. This series is edited by Stella Blackmon.)

  1. Prema says...

    A somewhat long-time reader, first time commenter on CoJ. I somehow found this recipe through lots of clicks earlier this week, and made this tonight for dinner, and WOW. It was delicious! I used whole wheat bow tie pasta, one large onion, curly kale, and 1/2 a Boursin round instead of goat cheese (what I had on hand). I also added a couple of spoons of pasta water to the mix to create a truly delicious sauce. Thank you for the recipe, and for bringing my attention to Amy Chaplin’s cookbook. After one bite, my husband and I immediately agreed to put this on our family’s regular rotation! Thank you.

  2. Kelsey says...

    Making this right now and its smelling SO good! Using Penne pasta because its what I have on hand and also adding several mushrooms to the kale sauté stage. I am obsessed with goat cheese so I know I’ll just love this! Gonna try with roasted tomatoes next time!! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  3. Liz says...

    hi! Just wanted to leave a note because i finally got around to making this recipe and it was SO GOOD! leftovers made for a happy lunch today too. Thank you!!!!!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      so happy to hear that, liz!

  4. I cooked the onions for more like 45 minutes – 1 hour. Maybe it’s because I was using a non-stick pan but it took that long to make the onions that jammy caramelized quality.

  5. I cooked this last week and my husband friggin loved it. He’s already asked when we’re gonna eat it again! I put in on my list of “fancy go-to meals”!

    • LOVE hearing this!

  6. Delicious! Just finished making and devouring it. I reduced the amount of goat cheese by about half, really loaded up on the freshly ground black pepper, and added chopped walnuts once plated. I’ll continue to use this simple, tasty recipe as the jumping off point for other variations. Thanks!

  7. Carrie says...

    I made this last night – really good! Thanks for sharing. Next time I’ll make sure to have some high quality Spanish olive oil on hand to finish it off with, and maybe some lemon zest! I definitely want to try the marinade.

  8. Sinds says...

    I made this tonight to EXCELLENT results – I was shocked at how flavorful just these simple ingredients made it! A few differences:

    – I cooked the onions for more like 45 minutes – 1 hour. Maybe it’s because I was using a non-stick pan but it took that long to make the onions that jammy caramelized quality.
    – I accidentally bought half the required amount of goat cheese, so I just shaved some gruyere over it and added extra sea salt and it was still really good. Next time I think I would just do the goat cheese (with the marination!) though.

    Anyway I am totally going to buy your cookbook. Finding good veggie staples is difficult and this is a winner. Thank you!

    • Yes, Caramelizing onions can take a while–sounds like your patients paid off with really a jammy texture. Try it with roasted cherry tomatoes instead of the kale which is also a great flavor combination. Hard to go wrong with marinated goat cheese! Let me know how you like the book!
      Amy x

  9. I’m drooling just looking at the picture.

  10. Hannah says...

    I made this yesterday, it’s amazing!! It’s so sweet (in a good way) and the goat cheese makes it really creamy. I used some seasoned goat cheese from Trader Joe’s, but I think in the future I’ll try your recipe :)

    • Yes the caramelized onions make it sweet and it is surprising how well fresh goat cheese melts. So happy you enjoyed it!
      Amy x

  11. Sumo says...

    I made this and it was delicious! Thank you!

    • I’m so happy to hear this! I love making it with roasted cherry tomatoes in summer. It’s very versatile!
      Amy x

  12. Amber says...

    Ok heading out to the garden to pick some kale. Yum!

  13. This looks amazing! I very seldom feel inspired to eat pasta (as I honestly find it just a tad boring), but this I must try! Yummy :)

  14. Amanda says...

    I bet this would taste equally as amazing with sweet potato noodles. I love them with caramelized onions and kale, so adding the cheese could only make it better.

  15. Oh my gosh I’m in love!!! Really love this idea for a series. Especially because I just served my kids cheerios and milk for dinner tonight. Thank you! ?

  16. Crystal says...

    I love lighter pasta dishes like this. Goat cheese is heaven.

  17. Looks delicious and so perfect for this time of year.

  18. Kadija says...

    Sweet. Lord. This looks amazing!!!

  19. I love that you’re sharing simple meals this month! I’m looking to them! This one looks amazing, yet simple. It would definitely be perfect for a very “hygge” meal! Just a light a few candles & you’re all set.

  20. Love how adaptable this dish is. I am, unfashionably, not a kale fan. I look forward to trying Swiss Chard in this, and some mushrooms. Also like Christine’s tip about Barilla high-protein pasta.

    • Brianna says...

      I’m not a kale fan, either. I was going to do spinach (or just serve broccoli on the side).

  21. bisbee says...

    I love this but sorry, I don’t do goat cheese. Any ideas for a substitute? Feta is also out…

    • Kadija says...

      Hmm… I wonder if a nutty parmesan would be good? Maybe it won’t be quite as melty as the goat cheese, but possibly still really delicious nonetheless with the olive oil?

    • Teresa says...

      Burrata, ricotta, marscapone?? My husband hates goat cheese also, so I was thinking of subbing one of those!

    • Barbara says...

      I would try a fresh mozzarella or — and I think this would be even better — a high quality creamy ricotta.

    • fizz says...

      Goat cheese is great, but it’s terrible in pasta dishes. It becomes grainy. Replace it with fontina or gruyere.

    • A good quality soft cow or sheep’s milk feta would be ideal – the recipe really is really made spectacular by the marinated cheese, and feta works well for this.

    • I think ricotta is a great idea, you need something light and creamy that melts slightly. Hope you make it!

    • bisbee says...

      Thanks everyone! Lots of great ideas…Amy, I think I will try ricotta!

  22. Wren says...

    I’m inspired to make a Pasta board on Pinterest now. Yum.

  23. Sophie says...

    This looks amazing.

  24. al maher says...

    One of my favorite cookbooks!!

  25. Love this! We are trying to incorporate one new dish each week for 2017. This looks like it may be next week’s!

  26. I like to use the Barilla pasta with the added protein when making dishes like this. They’ve got some chickpea flour in them. That added protein makes it feel like a more complete meal. This looks very tasty!

  27. Wow- I couldn’t ask for a more perfect pasta! Superfood kale, wholesome whole wheat pasta, caramelized onions, and creamy goat cheese (my fave cheese) all make for a cozy winter meal. Thanks so much for sharing.

    XOXO, Amy @ Jeans and a Tea

  28. Nice recipe! But the pasta is called “fettuccine” with a final “E”. I’m italian ;) I eat fettuccine since I was born.

  29. Lisa says...

    I have a question – recipes like this often call for two tablespoons of olive oil, but I never find that nearly enough to sautée my onion (especially three large onions)! Am I doing something wrong here? What’s the trick?

    • Great question Lisa. It will greatly depend on the quality of your pan, if it’s a heavy bottomed pan or well-seasoned cast iron skillet you won’t need as much oil as ingredients don’t stick easily. Good quality pots are really worth the investment as nothing will stick and burn. You might also want to lower heat a little. Adding salt will bring out the moisture in the onions too, so if they start sticking you could try adding the salt a bit earlier.
      Once last tip: covering the pan while its on low heat will also soften up your onions in a hurry as the moisture gets trapped. You definitely want them well cooked in this recipe as the sweetness and succulent texture is what makes it so delicious! Hope you enjoy it!

    • You might just have your heat too high and it’s burning off the oil. Usually onions and things should be cooked on a medium to medium/low heat. :)

  30. Love that! Hope you enjoy it!

  31. Looks insanely delicious! The caramelised onions in particularly have me drooling.

  32. Clara says...

    Oh my gosh you utter angels I more or less have all of these ingredients in my fridge right now! Just need to grab a bottle of wine on the way home <3

  33. Adrianna says...

    This is going to be supper tomorrow!

  34. OOOOO that cheese is so delicious. I first discovered it years ago at the cheese shop in Williamsburg (i think they called it Australian feta?) but I actually found it at my local, slightly fancier grocery store too (called “Meredith Dairy marinated goat cheese). It always gets devoured at dinner parties because it’s so insanely good. Def worth hunting down!!

    • Yes! Bedford Cheese has it! It really is addictive. Sometimes you can find it at Union Market and some Wholefoods. It really does make everything taste delicious. I included a recipe in the book for making your own.
      Thank you Cup of Jo for featuring my recipe! Xo