Kale Pesto Penne Recipe
I developed this dish out of wanting to include the nourishing stems of the kale in a meal. I often save them to add to bone broth, but I wanted another option, so this delicious, nutritious pasta dish was born: Kale Pesto Penne.
Serves: 4 as a side
- 4–5 large stems curly kale, washed well
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 50g (approx.) parmesan cheese, roughly diced
- 1 cup almonds, toasted
- Big handful basil leaves
- Juice & zest 1 small lemon
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Black pepper, to taste
- 250g rice quinoa penne pasta
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil + 1 tbsp water
- Start by stripping leaves off kale stems, tearing into small pieces and finely chopping remaining kale stems.
- Bring 2 cups water to boil in large pot and boil chopped stems (not leaves) for 5 mins (or until softened). Drain and set aside.
- Refill pot with water and bring to boil. Once boiling, cook penne until al dente.
- Meanwhile, make pesto: in food processor, chop garlic. Add parmesan and process until finely grated. Add half of almonds and pulse until finely chopped.
- Add basil, cooked kale stems, lemon juice and zest, olive oil and pepper and pulse until it forms coarse pesto.
- Once pasta is cooked, strain and return pan to moderate heat. Add extra 2 tbsp olive oil and water then add kale leaves. Sauté, stirring constantly until just wilted (but not browned).
- Once wilted, return pasta, pesto and remaining toasted almonds to pot and stir to combine over low heat.
- Serve immediately.
- Tip: For omnivores, you can also add cooked chicken or tuna. To make it vegan (and dairy-free), replace parmesan with nutritional yeast.
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