Pesto pasta is one of the quickest meals you can make, perfect for a week night dinner or a busy weekend lunch. Making your own pesto is really easy, and making pesto out of green vegetables like kale is a lot cheaper than traditional basil pesto. Yes, pine nuts I’m talking about you! I know in the past there have been many times I’ve bought a lot of kale and only used half of it. That is until I discovered kale and walnut pesto.
There are many recipes on the web for kale and walnut pesto, a lot of them call for you too either steam of sautee the kale before you make the pesto as it may help reduce the bitterness of the kale. I’ve tried both ways and I prefer the raw version, I didn’t find it bitter at all, I think the addition of basil and lemon gets rid of any bitterness. This pesto is great with pasta but also fab on toast with mashed avocado or with poached eggs.
Most kids love pesto pasta, and I think it’s fair to say that most kids also hate kale! Oh yes, I know how hard it is to get a child to eat kale. But kale is a nutritional gem so I want my kid to eat it 😉 The only way I have mastered this epic task is to make kale and walnut pesto! Did my lovely child realize she was eating a combination of raw kale and walnuts in her spaghetti? No! So, did I tell her? Hell no!! Did she love her homemade pesto pasta? She sure did and asked for seconds! The quilt will come later I’m sure 😉
Serves: 4 Time: 30 Minutes
For the Pesto:
85g Parmesan, roughly grated
Small handful of Basil Leaves
1/2 Tsp Salt
Zest and Juice of 1 small Lemon
2 Cloves of Garlic
85ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For the Spaghetti:
200g Whole Wheat Spaghetti
50g Sun-Dried Tomatoes, sliced
100g Goat’s Cheese, broken up into little chunks.
- Heat a medium pan over a low heat, add the walnuts and toss for about two minutes. They are done when you can smell the walnuts. Set aside to cool.
- Wash the kale and strip off the leaves from the stalks then shred them a little. Add the kale, walnuts, garlic, basil, parmesan, salt, lemon zest and juice to a food processor. Pulse for a minute or two until everything is well mixed. Turn on the processor and slowly add the oil. Pulse for about two minutes.
- Cook the pasta, when the pasta is cooked add two tablespoons of pesto, the sun-dried tomatoes and goat’s cheese. Stir gently until all the pasta is covered in pesto.
Notes: If you like your pesto a little smoother just pulse for about two more minutes. If you like your pesto wetter slowly add a little more extra virgin olive oil until you reach your desired consistency. Keep the pesto in an airtight container in your fridge, cover the top of the pesto with a little olive oil to stop it drying out. To make this a vegetarian pesto use a vegetarian parmesan.