Fresh Orecchiette with Apple, Kale, and Pomegranate

Orecchiette with Pork and Pomegranate

Last year there was some rumblings that Top Chef might end up on Boston this season. Unfortunately this didn’t turn out to be true, but us Bostonians did get one pretty nice consolation, and her name is Kristen Kish. Kristen is a local chef that has been killing it on the show this season. She ended up getting kicked off a little prematurely, but then fought her way back into the competition by beating people week after week on Last Chance Kitchen. This coming Wednesday is the finale, and Kristen only has one more Chef to beat to win the whole thing. I had a few friends over this past week to watch the previous episode, and we ate a this meal that was inspired by the dish that got Kristen back into the competition.

A little caraway in the pasta dough. I was skeptical but it added a nice flavor and goes great with the orange flavor.


Kim helped me make all the thumbprints.

Its pretty easy to make each one, but it takes a while to do so many.

Saute some apples in butter.

Next the kale goes in with the cooked pork.

Reduced orange and lemon juice goes in.

Then the pasta. Kill the heat and stir in the pom seeds.

No wonder Kristen made it back to the show, this was awesome!

It was heavy but somehow felt light at the same time. All the flavors went great together and were unexpected.

Go Kristen!

The recipe on the Bravo site is for a very small amount. I adapted it to serve 4-6 people and added some ground pork to make it more substantial for a dinner party main course.

Fresh Orecchiette with Apple, Kale, and Pomegranate

This recipe for fresh orecchiette was based on a dish by Kristen Kish on Top Chef. It has apples, pomegranate, kale, and pork.
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: pasta
Servings: 4 people


  • 3.5 cups semolina flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 cups water more if needed
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seed ground
  • 7 oranges
  • 4 meyer lemons
  • 3 apples
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 pomegranate
  • lots of chopped parsley


  • Mix the semolina, caraway, salt, and water and knead for 5 minutes. Wrap with plastic and let sit for 15 minutes while you prep some of the other stuff.
  • Juice the oranges and lemons and put on low heat to a light simmer. Allow to reduce until about half its volume, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove the stems from the kale and rip into small pieces. Chop up the parsley.
  • Make the orecchiette by making sure your hand is floured, and rolling small balls of dough, then taking each one and flattening it with your thumb against your palm. Lay them out on a towel to dry as you continue making them.
  • Season the pork with salt and pepper. Sear the pork in a small amount of oil and remove from the pan when it is browned and cooked through.
  • Dice the apples while the pork is cooking. If there is lots of grease in the pan, remove the excess. Pop the butter into the pan followed by the apples. Sauté until they are just beginning to brown.
  • Toss in the kale in with the apples and add the pork back to the pot. Pour in the orange juice.
  • Meanwhile, boil the pasta until tender. Strain and add to your sauce. Stir in your pomegranates and serve with parsley.


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