Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pasta With Kale and Walnut Pesto

"Mikey likes it!" We were reminded of the old Life cereal commercial tonight at dinner. Our son ate kale and asked for seconds. Ok, so it was kale pesto, not an identifiable vegetable to a two year old, but we felt triumphant on the war of the vegetables nonetheless. I've been trying a lot of pesto variations lately. We've tried the standard basil and pine nuts, and I've made variations using arugula, kale, walnuts, and even avocado! This has probably been my favorite though and one I'm sure to repeat. This dish was quick, easy, and so delicious!

Pasta With Kale and Walnut Pesto

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons walnuts
1 bunch kale, thick stems discarded and leaves torn (about 12 cups)
1 cup grated pecorino, plus more for serving
1 small clove garlic
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 pound fusili, penne, or some other short pasta

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool. Chop two tablespoons of the walnuts and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the kale and cook until bright green, 30 seconds. Transfer the kale to a colander (reserve the cooking water); squeeze dry when cool enough to handle.

In a food processor, combine the kale, pecorino, garlic, the remaining 1/3 cup of unchopped walnuts, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Process until finely chopped. With the machine running, add the oil through the feed tube in a steady steam.

Bring the reserved cooking water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1/2  cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the pesto and 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water and toss to coat. Serve the pasta sprinkled with the pecorino and chopped walnuts. Yum!

No comments:

Post a Comment