Kale Pesto Pasta

Kale Pesto Pasta

Has it really been almost a month since any of us have posted? We have all been crazy with moving, working, planning for weddings (!), so if you all are like me, it has been a task just to get any kind of food on the table.

We moved to Knoxville a few days ago and were lucky enough to bring along with us a cooler full of goodies from my Uncle David’s gorgeous garden, including a ginormous bag of kale. So, if you haven’t had enough of our kale recipes, here’s one more. It went on the table in a jiffy, which was good since we were starving after unpacking all day and we were also ready for something home-cooked.

This is a good recipe to riff on, as evidenced by the inspiration recipe from 101 Cookbooks. Next time, I’ll try adding some basil or spinach to round it out. Of course, you can add lots of garlic and shallot like she did in the original, but too much garlic gives me heartburn, so I added it with a light hand. It also wouldn’t have hurt to toss in some lemon zest as well since I was already juicing the lemon. Next time, next time . . .

Kale Pesto Spaghetti with Feta Cheese

adapted from Winter Pasta, 101 Cookbooks

  • 1 small bunch kale
  • small handful of parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • salt, to taste
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 C. or so of olive oil
  • zest of half a lemon (optional)
  • a handful of basil and/or spinach (optional)
  • 1/4 C. walnuts
  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • approximately 2 Tb. hot pasta water
  • 1/4 C. crumbled feta

Get the pasta water going. In the meantime, break off any hardy stems from the kale leaves. Using your hands, rip the kale leaves into big pieces and toss in the food processor. Add the parsley and any other herbs or spinach, and then either add the garlic clove put through a garlic press or minced by hand. Add a bit of salt, the lemon juice, and start the food processor. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil slowly. Once the mixture has come together, add the walnuts and lemon zest, if desired, and then process. You can add a Tb. or so of water to get the mixture smooth. Taste the mixture for salt and set aside.

Once the pasta water is going, cook the spaghetti. When the pasta is done, save a few tablespoons of the hot, starchy pasta water. Drain the pasta and then toss it with the pesto, adding the hot pasta water if needed to evenly coat the pasta with the pesto. Toss in the crumbled feta and serve while hot.

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