On a recent visit to One Star Farm in Baltimore County I picked up this suggestion from owner Joan Norman for using kale: cook the kale in the pasta pot with the pasta. When the pasta is done, Joan said, so is the kale.
We have a couple of gorgeous Tuscan kale plants in our garden begging to be used. The leaves have great flavor, but they do cook a while before they are tender. So I applied Joan's suggested method to whole wheat pasta and you see the results here: Tuscan kale with whole wheat rotini and fresh goat cheese.
Prepare the kale as usual, stripping the leafy part away from the stem. Roll the leaves together and chop into a chiffonade. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta (1 pound for six large adult servings) plus chiffonade from several kale leaves. When the pasta is done, drain, plate and garnish with goat cheese and freshly ground black pepper.
(The other side in the photo is our go-to smothered okra. We are harvesting lots of okra these days and making lots of smothered okra.)