Pasta with Creamy Kale Pesto
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This pesto gives you the best of both worlds--the flavors of basil and garlic, blended with a nutritional powerhouse, kale.
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4-6
  • ¾ lb elbow macaroni (or your favorite noodle)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts, with 1 tbsp set aside
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup tightly packed basil
  • 2 cups tightly packed Lacinato kale
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ⅛ cup grated Pecorino Sardo (or Pecorino Romano)
  • 4 tbsp softened butter
  • ½ cup heavy cream (optional, for baking)
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. In a large pot, bring about 6 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add the elbow macaroni and cook for about 7 minutes until al dente (if you used a different pasta, follow the cooking instructions on the package). Drain, toss with a little olive oil, and set aside.
  3. Give the garlic and pine nuts a rough chop, then whirl in the food processor until mashed. Add the olive oil, and give another good whirl.
  4. To the food processor, add the kale and basil one cup at a time, processing until all leaves are chopped up.
  5. Next, add in the cheeses and butter. Process until completely blended.
  6. In a large bowl or pot, toss the pasta with the pesto until every noodle is covered. The pasta can be served at this point, or proceed to the baking steps below.
  7. Transfer pasta mixture to a baking dish. Drizzle cream evenly over the top, then sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese and the reserved pine nuts.
  8. Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes until golden.
This is also delicious with leftover roasted chicken chopped up and tossed with the pasta.
Recipe by Webicurean at