basil, walnut & kale pesto pasta
We finally got around to making something different a couple weeks ago: kale and basil pesto pasta. Our friend Nita gave us a bunch of basil from her farm share, and it was too good to let it go to waste. Foodgawker helped me decide on this recipe from Clean Green Simple. I liked how it combined kale and basil in the pesto. And it doesn’t call for that much olive oil (anyone else feel that pesto is pretty greasy sometimes?)
The pasta was super tasty: you could taste the basil, but it wasn’t overpowering. And it wasn’t as heavy as the typical pesto pasta (which means we can eat more of it, right?) We used broccoli instead of asparagus, which I really liked. This recipe is definitely a keeper; we’ll have to make this next time we have fresh basil around!
adapted from Clean Green Simple
1 lb pasta (we used whole wheat)
10-12 cloves garlic, minced fine
2 c. fresh basil
2 c. fresh kale
3/4 c. raw, unsalted walnuts
1 onion, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2/3 c. water
1 tsp salt
1 bunch (about 10-12 stalks) asparagus or broccoli, chopped into small pieces
20-30 cherry tomatoes, halved (or 2 medium tomatoes chopped into 1/2 inch chunks)
Start a large pot of water boiling, and cook your noodles according to the package directions. When you drain the noodles, reserve a cup or two of the water to add to the pasta.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, add your onion, kale, basil, about 2/3 of the minced garlic, and walnuts and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are softened and the greens are just starting to wilt. (If you want your onion cooked very thoroughly you may want to add it a couple minutes ahead of everything else)
Once the greens and walnut mixture is ready, remove it from the pan and add it to a blender or food processor. Return the pan to the stove over medium heat and add asparagus/broccoli and the rest of the garlic. Heat the asparagus/broccoli for 3-6 minutes until it is softened but still somewhat crisp.
While the asparagus/broccoli cooks, add water, and salt to the food processor with the cooked greens (kale, basil) and blend until smooth.
Once your asparagus/broccoli and pasta noodles are ready, combine all ingredients in a large bowl, adding the reserved pasta water to help the pesto coat the noodles. Grate fresh Parmesan on top of the pasta. Serve warm or cold.