This penne with sun-dried tomatoes and Tuscan kale is an easy weeknight pasta dish bursting with fresh flavors! Sun-dried tomatoes add flavor and wonderful color, while the kale adds freshness to the dish. This vegetarian dinner is ready in just 25 minutes!
This post may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
This scrumptious combines a variety of flavors to create perfect harmony on the tongue. The sweet-tart sun-dried tomatoes, the earthy kale, the nutty Parmesan cheese, and the slightly spicy crushed red pepper flakes pair perfectly with the pasta to create a vibrant dish.
This recipe is so simple and quick to prepare it will quickly become one of your favorite weeknight recipes.
Why this recipe works
- This recipe is easy and quick to make – it comes together in just 25 minutes!
- It is loaded with flavor; tangy, cheesy, rich, and irresistible.
- It’s a great way to use up the leftover sun-dried tomatoes that have been sitting in your fridge.
Ingredients to use for this recipe
- Penne pasta: I am using Penne pasta in this recipe, but any dried pasta shape will work.
- Sun-dried Tomatoes: Sun-dried tomatoes are sweet and earthy. I’m using the dried variety, but the sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil would also work.
- Tuscan Kale: Tuscan kale is softer and has a more subtle flavor than traditional curly kale. Use traditional kale if you can’t find the Tuscan variety.
- Extra virgin olive oil: A staple of Mediterranean cuisines.
- Shallot: adds a subtle onion flavor without overpowering the sun-dried tomatoes.
- Garlic: It brings an earthy flavor, spiciness, and complexity to this pasta dish.
- Butter: Butter adds richness and delicious flavor to the sauce.
- Lemon: The lemon juice adds a fresh and bright flavor while it balances the earthy and rich flavors of the sun-dried tomatoes, kale, and parmesan cheese.
- Red Pepper Flakes: The red pepper flakes add a bit of spice to the dish. Feel free to adjust the amount of red pepper flakes to your liking.
- Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan cheese is a quintessential Italian cheese. It’s salty, nutty, and full of umami; flavors that are a delicious way to finish any pasta.
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
How to make the Penne With Sun-Dried Tomatoes And Tuscan Kale
In a large pot, cook the penne, according to the time on the package directions, to al dente. Reserve a cup of starchy pasta water before draining the pasta.
Heat the olive oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium heat.
Add the olive oil, shallot, and garlic, and cook until the shallot is tender.
Add the butter, red pepper flakes, and lemon juice. Stir until the butter has melted.
Add ½ cup of the pasta water and reduce the sauce.
Add sun-dried tomatoes, chopped kale, and penne to the pan when the sauce has thickened. Toss to combine.
If needed, add another ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water and continue to cook the pasta for a couple of minutes until the kale is slightly wilted and the sauce evenly coats the pasta.
If the pasta looks too dry, add the remaining pasta water.
Remove the pan from the heat. Add the parmesan cheese. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
This dish is very easy to customize. Here are some ideas:
Add a vegetarian protein by adding a can of chickpeas or cannellini beans.
Also, for a non-vegetarian diet, add some leftover roasted (or rotisserie) chicken.
Substitute spinach for the kale.
What to serve with this dish?
This recipe is the main dish but is extra delightful when served alongside a fresh salad and crusty bread.
You can also serve it as a side dish with Roasted Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon.
Notes and Cooking Tips
Reserve some of the starchy pasta water before draining. It will help you reach your desired sauce consistency.
Make-ahead tips and Storing leftovers
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
More Pasta Recipes
Pumpkin, Bacon, Sage, And Brown Butter Pasta
If you don’t recognize a tool or skill I mention, look it up in the Cooking Terms Glossary for more information.
Hungry for more? Browse all my Mediterranean Recipes.
Join my FREE e-mail list to receive all the latest and greatest recipes and cooking tips.
If you make this recipe, leave a comment and give it a rating. I love to hear from each and every one of you! Tag me on Facebook and Instagram as well! Seeing your photos of the food you have made makes my day.
Penne with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Tuscan Kale
- 1 lb dried penne pasta
- 2 tbsp extravirgin olive oil
- 1 shallot minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lemon juiced
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes optional
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes roughly chopped
- 2 cups Tuscan kale roughly chopped
- 1 cup parmesan cheese grated
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook the penne to al dente, according to the time on the package directions. Before draining the pasta, reserve 1 cup of starchy pasta water.
- Heat a large high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, shallot, and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the shallot is tender.
- Add the butter, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes (if using). Stir until the butter has melted.
- Add ½ cup of the starchy pasta water and stir for 1-2 minutes, or until the sauce begins to bubble and thicken. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, kale, and penne. Toss to combine.
- If the sauce is too thin, add another ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water. Continue to cook the pasta for 1-2 minutes, until the kale is barely wilted and the sauce evenly coats the pasta. Again, if the sauce becomes too dry, add the last ¼ cup of pasta water.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the parmesan. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Notes and Tips
- Reserve some of the pasta starchy water before draining. It will help you reach your desired sauce consistency.
- Tuscan kale is softer and has a more subtle flavor than traditional curly kale. Use traditional kale if you can’t find the Tuscan variety. If using traditional curly kale, remove the thick ribs.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
- This dish is very easy to customize. Here are some ideas:
- Add a vegetarian protein by adding a can of chickpeas or cannellini beans.
- Also, for a non-vegetarian diet, add some leftover roasted (or rotisserie) chicken.
- Substitute spinach for the kale.
This information is provided as a courtesy and for entertainment purposes only. This information comes from online calculators. Although eatmediterraneanfood.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
Join the Eat Mediterranean Food Community FREE Facebook Group to share your cooking creations and make new like-minded friends online.
Have a question about this recipe? First, check the comments section to see if your question has already been answered. Use ctrl+f or ⌘+f on your computer or the “find on page” function on your phone browser to search existing comments! If you do not find the answer in the existing comments, please write your question in the comments area, and I will answer it.
Please share this post with family and friends. Your shares are how Eat Mediterranean Food Blog grows, and I am sincerely grateful whenever you share something.
In this post, some links are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting my website.