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Parmesan and Pancetta Pasta with Kale

4 to 6 Servings

40 minutes

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This quick, one-pot pasta dinner hits a wide spectrum of flavors: it’s savory with crisp bits of pancetta, umami-rich with Parmesan, green and minerally with kale, spicy with pepper flakes and bright with a last-minute addition of lemon juice. We use sturdy lacinato kale (also called dinosaur or Tuscan kale) and add it to the pasta midway through boiling. Some of the starchy, flavorful cooking water is reserved before draining and added back to the pasta-kale mixture, creating a light, sauce that ties the ingredients together without weighing them down.

4 to 6



Don’t discard any of the rendered pancetta fat after transferring the bits to a paper towel-lined plate. The fat adds richness to the dish; without it, the flavor falls flat.

40 minutes


  • 1

    pound gemelli or fusilli pasta

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper


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Kathie B.
February 12, 2024
Easy and delicious!
Quick, easy and super flavorful!! Will be making this one again!
Cathy R.
January 8, 2024
Quick, easy and fast.
Fast weekday meal with things available in the house. Used pasta shells. I did not remove the garlic at the end and it was fine.
Theodore A.
December 16, 2023
Use good pancetta
Fast, simple, pretty tasty. I doubled the lemon juice to get enough brightness to offset the fat and next time I'll double the kale as it will easily cook down.