This unusual dish is a variation of noodle kugel, but it's nothing like grandma's!
Here our nutritious Baby Kale takes the starring role, balancing the dish's creamy richness with its distinctive peppery edge in a versatile dish that's delicious served hot or warm, as a side dish or as the main event.
Instead of a kugel's traditional egg noodles, we use fettuccine, but feel free to use your favorite pasta; whole grain versions are delicious, too. Bacon and kale go together beautifully, or leave it out for a lovely, flavorful vegetarian version.
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a springform pan. Wrap the exterior of the pan with foil (in case the pan leaks) and set the pan on a rimmed baking sheet.
Saute the bacon in the olive oil in a very large skillet over medium heat until crispy. Using a slotted spoon or spatula, transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain.
Add the onions to the hot oil and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and wine, and cook until the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Stir in the kale in batches (3 or more, depending on the size of your pan), adding more as it wilts. Cook until the kale is tender, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the reserved bacon and remove the skillet from the heat.
Combine the eggs, mascarpone, milk and nutmeg in a blender and process until smooth.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt and the fettuccine, and cook until al dente (firm but not hard). Drain the pasta in a colander and transfer to a large bowl. Add the kale mixture to the hot fettuccine, then stir in the egg mixture and the cheese. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
Bake until the torte is just set and the top is golden, 50 to 55 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let it cool for 10 minutes. Run a small knife around the inside edge of the pan to release the torte. Remove the side of the springform pan and serve the torte hot or warm.