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+ servings

Lemon Garlic Pasta with Kale

This lemon garlic pasta is a fresh and zesty pasta dish that is ready in under 30 minutes and tastes great.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 424kcal


  • cup pine nuts, (50g)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 fat cloves of garlic crushed
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 150 g kale (2 ¼ cups) washed, chopped, woody stems removed
  • 250 g spaghetti (3 ½ cups) dry weight
  • 1 large handful of fresh flat leaf parsley chopped
  • cup finely grated vegetarian parmesan cheese (30g) + more for serving
  • 1 large unwaxed lemon, zest and juice + lemon wedges for serving
  • ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp cracked black pepper


  • Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan until they are golden brown, remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil then cook the pasta until al dente.
    Drain your pasta, but let the colander sit over the pasta saucepan so you collect some of that pasta water, you just need about a tablespoon.
  • Slowly heat the olive oil in a large saute pan, add the crushed garlic and whole peppercorns and cook gently for 5 minutes over a low to medium heat. The oil should be bubbling around the garlic. Do not let the garlic burn. Fish out the garlic after 3- 5 minutes, leave the peppercorns in the oil.
  • Add the kale to the olive oil and gently saute until the kale has turned bright green and is slightly wilted. 
    Stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest and salt and cook for a minute.
    Now add in the pine nuts, parmesan and the water from the pasta. Stir over a medium heat for about two minutes. 
  • Add the pasta to the kale then add the parsley and extra virgin olive oil. Toss gently then serve immediately with freshly grated parmesan, some lemon zest, a squeeze of lemon juice if you wish and some freshly cracked black pepper.


  • Nutrition information is approximate and is calculated by using an online tool.
  • Cup sizes are approximate, I use a metric scale to weigh all ingredients.
  • I used whole wheat spaghetti for this but linguine or fusilli works very well too.
  • Kids won't eat kale? Try substituting spinach and up the quantity to 200g.
  • If you have kids that are not into spicy food or are quite young then I would remove the peppercorns when you remove the garlic.
  • Want a creamy version of this? Add in a heaped tablespoon of creme fraiche when you add the pasta water and stir well.
  • Want to make this vegan? Omit the parmesan and try a little nutritional yeast over the finished dish.


Calories: 424kcal | Carbohydrates: 55.6g | Protein: 14.9g | Fat: 19.2g | Saturated Fat: 3.1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 216mg | Potassium: 486mg | Fiber: 1.6g | Sugar: 2g | Calcium: 130mg | Iron: 4.5mg