Turkey and Kale with Orichette

One of my favorite recipes from Italy.

My favorite dish comes from Italy where my wife’s friends lived for several years. This recipe allowed me to finally enjoy kale, so we make it at least once a month. Enjoy!


1 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional - I don’t like fennel)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 tablespoons olive oil (you’ll use 4 tablespoons, then 2 tablespoons)
4 tablespoons chopped garlic (you’ll use 2 tablespoons at a time)
1 pound ground turkey
3 cups chicken broth (you’ll use 1 cup, then 2 cups)
2 teaspoons valencia orange peel
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bag of chopped kale (about 5-6 cups)
1 pound orecchiette pasta (you can use other pastas, but orecchiette works best)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese


Step 1:

Safety first! Sanitize your workspace then prepare and measure the ingredients into their own ready-to-use containers (the French call this “mise en place”, meaning “everything in its place”).

I recommend de-ribbing the kale for a better chewing experience.

Step 2:

Put the pot of water for the pasta on a burner, then turn the burner on high. Cover the pot.

Step 3:

Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium/low heat. Once hot, add 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds (optional) and 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Toast untill fragrant (anywhere from 20-seconds to 2 minutes depending on your stove). Be careful, if you burn the pepper flakes the smoke could make you choke.

Once fragrant, add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Don’t burn the garlic!

Transfer the mixture into a medium bowl and set aside.

Step 4:

The pasta water should be boiling by now. Remove the lid, put the pasta in the water and cook according to the pasta package.

Step 5:

In the same skillet as Step 3, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium/high heat - if the oil starts to smoke the skillet is too hot.
Add the turkey and cook until it’s no longer pink.

Add 1 cup of chicken broth, 2 teaspoons of valencia orange peel, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Bring it to a boil and cook until the liquid has evaporated (about 5 minutes).

Transfer the turkey into the bowl of the oil mixture from step 3.

Step 6:

In the same skillet as step 5, add 2 cups of chicken broth, 2 tablespoons of garlic, and the de-ribbed bag of kale. Cover and cook until the kale is tender (about 8 minutes).

Step 7:

Add the turkey and oil mixture back into the skillet, and cook until it’s heated through.

Drain the pasta, then combine everything in the pasta pot.

Mix in 1 cup of grated parmesan until melted, then serve! It pairs nicely with a fresh baguette and an oil/spice dipping mixture.

Do you have a favorite dinner recipe? Let me know, I’d love to try it!