This Kale Pesto with Pasta sounds super virtuous, and it is fairly healthy, but don't let that fool you. It is delicious, hearty, and ultra-comforting! It really hits the spot! Even my non-kale lovers enjoyed it! The kale pesto is perfectly seasoned with just the right amount of garlic and cheese. The addition of red pepper flakes is perfect as the spicy heat from the pepper flakes does a subtle job of spicing things up just right. I enjoyed the pesto with larger pieces of kale still remaining for texture, but you could blend the pesto smooth if you were so inclined. I will definitely make this dish again!
Kale Pesto with Pasta
Adapted from Diana Henry's
A Change of Apettite
1 pound pasta*
12 oz kale (about 4 cups stemmed and chopped)
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
2 good quality anchovies, drained
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/2 - 3/4 cup grated Parmesan or pecorino
really good pinch of dried red pepper flakes (optional)
Notes: Use any pasta you like. Whole wheat, multigrain, or semolina. The recipe uses linguine, but I also think fusilli, bowtie, or any other smaller shape would be nice as well.
Wash the kale well and strip the fibrous leaves from their stems. At the same time, bring a large pot of water to a boil, plunge the leaves in, and cook for five minutes. After five minutes, remove the kale from the boiling water and place into a bowl. Once the kale is removed add in the pasta and cook until al dente.
While the pasta is cooking make the pesto. Place the cooked kale into a food processor with the butter, extra virgin olive oil, parsley, anchovies, garlic and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Add the red pepper flakes (if using). Process, using the pulse-blend button. I like this pesto when it isn't completely pureed but still has quite large flecks in it, so best not to overdo it. Taste the pesto, add the rest of the cheese, salt, and pepper, red pepper flakes, etc. to taste. Drain the pasta, return it to the pan with a little of it's cooking water, mix in the pesto and serve immediately. Garnish with cheese, if desired.
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