Penne with Kale, Mushrooms and Bacon

We know I’m obsessed with mushrooms…well, and bacon. I’m kind of obsessed with kale, too – which wasn’t always the case.

Last year when my CSA box was packed with kale EVERY WEEK, I thought, once when winter was finally over, I would never cook with kale again. But as the weather got cold again this year, I started craving the dishes I’d created last season in an effort to use all of my kale each week – because I actually missed the kale.

It’s no secret that kale is good for you. It’s low in calories, high in fiber and one cup supplies 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6, 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. And it’s packed with antioxidants.

Since it’s so healthy, I don’t feel bad serving it up in a bowl of pasta and topped with bacon and cheese. Especially since there’s a three to one ratio of vegetables to grains in this dish which has become my favorite quick winter dinner.


  • 1 slice thick cut bacon
  • 2 cups kale, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons butter, divided
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup penne pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 tablespoon organic fat free half & half
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese


  • Fry bacon in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook until crisp approximately 4 minutes.
  • Remove bacon from skillet and increase heat to high.
  • Add kale. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper and saute until it starts to soften, approximately 5 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the kale to a large bowl and wipe down skillet.
  • Return skillet to heat and add one teaspoon of butter. Add mushrooms and toss to coat with butter. Add another pinch of salt and pepper and saute until golden, approximately 5 minutes.
  • Return kale to skillet with mushrooms. Add penne, remaining butter, and half & half.
  • Reduce heat to medium and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer to a deep pasta bowl, crumble bacon on top. and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

Notes: I use organic fat free half & half because I want to make sure I’m not using anything containing high fructose corn syrup. You could use 1% milk instead of half & half if you want to.

If I have any fresh herbs, specifically rosemary, thyme or tarragon, I mince them and toss a large pinch in with the mushrooms and in the end with the butter and cream. It completely elevates this dish.

What you’ll need: A large non-stick skillet, a large bowl, and a slotted spoon.

What you want to know: One serving is 351 calories, 16 grams of fat, 17 grams of protein, 38 grams of carb, 8 grams fiber, and 9 Weight Watchers points.


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Filed under Pasta, Table for One

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