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"This dish is slow to cook, but fast to prepare," says Rach. What she means is that aside from braising the onions, which takes 1 ½ to 2 hours, the recipe moves quickly. With its red and green color scheme, it's also a pretty and festive vegetarian option for the holidays. If you'd like to add a bit of meatiness, top the pasta with crispy prosciutto or speck along with (or instead of) the crispy kale. To prepare it, roast thin slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer at 450°F until crisp. 

Pro Tip from Rach: She likes to use red onion pasta from La Fortuna that she buys online, but the sauce is also great with bucatini or rigatoni. 

For two more seasonal pastas that include kale, check out Pumpkin Vodka Cream Pasta with Spinach or Kale and One-Pot Toasted Orecchiette with Pancetta, Fennel + Kale


  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 4 red onions, chopped
  • Salt
  • 2 large fresh bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped or grated
  • Pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice or a pinch of ground cloves
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 cups beef or roasted vegetable stock
  • A drizzle of aged sweet balsamic vinegar, optional
  • 1 bunch flat kale, stemmed
  • EVOO non-aerosol cooking spray
  • 1 pound pasta (Rach likes to use a red onion-flavored kind for this recipe, but plain bucatini or rigatoni would be fine)
  • Grated pecorino cheese


Serves: 4 to 6


Melt 4 tablespoons butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and season with salt, then add bay leaves, cover and soften 10 minutes. Add garlic, pepper and allspice or cloves and stir a minute or 2. Add tomato paste, stir and let cook a minute. Add red wine and increase heat to reduce wine slightly. Add stock and cook at low simmer 1 ½ to 2 hours, then remove the bay leaves and add vinegar.

Rachael Ray 5-Quart Cast Iron Casserole

Rachael Ray 5-Quart Cast Iron Casserole

Rachael Ray

When sauce has been cooking for an hour, heat water for pasta to a boil and preheat broiler or oven to 550°F.  

Spray a single layer of stemmed kale with oil, season with salt and broil or bake at 500°F on a foil-lined baking sheet until very crisp and browned. Cool to handle. Season again with salt and crackle into pieces.  

Undercook pasta a minute less than directions in salted water and reserve ½ cup of the liquid. 

Add cooking water and 2 tablespoons butter to pasta and combine with sauce and a handful of cheese. Serve in shallow bowls topped with crispy kale.