Many years ago, I had a dish a at a restaurant in Golden, Colorado with smoked pheasant and pasta. The memory of that taste has stayed with me all these years.
When we decided to put a duck on the smoker again this year, I wanted to use it to make this dish. And what a great opportunity to use up some of the kale we had in the refrigerator. I also used some shiitake mushrooms we had from our CSA share, so it is a really decadent dish. If you don't have access to smoked duck, chicken or even bacon would be an excellent substitution.
And other than the time it took to smoke the duck, the rest of the dish is fast and easy to prepare !
Smoked Duck and Kale Pasta
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup shiitake mushrooms, cut into strips
3 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 cups smoked duck, cut into bite sized pieces
2 cups kale, any variety, cut into bite sized pieces
Toasted pine nuts and chopped scallions, for garnish
Approximately 1/2 pound linguine (splurge on freshly made here, it's worth it !)
Start water boiling for pasta while you prepare the sauce. In a large saute pan, melt together butter and olive oil. Saute garlic until soft, then add mushrooms and saute 2-3 minutes. Add flour, and continue to stir until flour is absorbed into butter, and starts to brown. Slowly add milk to mixture, and reduce heat to a simmer. Add duck, and simmer until sauce begins to thicken. Add kale, and cook until kale is cooked through. Cook pasta according to package directions, and then toss pasta with sauce. Top with pine nuts and scallions.