Sunday, March 16, 2014

Kale Pesto Spaghetti

While perusing through the produce aisle this afternoon, hoping for an ingredient to jump out at me or speak to me while wandering around the store, I couldn't help but notice that the choices were limited in stormy Winnipeg.  Normally I have many ideas for Sunday dinner, but with this horrible weather we are still experiencing, my creative juices seemed to be frozen. The only thing that looked fresh today was the giant stacks of kale that looked like they had just been put on the shelves. I stood in front of the piles of leafy greens pondering what magnificent meal could come out of this super ingredient. I have been using kale in smoothies, soups and salads and wanted to make something different but familiar. My hubby leaned in and asked, "can you make a pasta dish for dinner?" It was at that moment that I had the idea to make Kale Pesto for Spaghetti. I have made many varieties of pesto in the past but none have ever included this healthy, hearty ingredient.

I was not sure if the dish would turn out the way I had imagined it, but I was determined to make it look and taste spectacular.  In the end we were very happy with the results, so I decided to share this new recipe with all of you. 

Ingredients for Kale Pesto 
Quantity 3 cups

1 bunch of kale- leaves removed from stems. 
1 cup parsley
1 cup basil
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts plus 2 tbsp for garnish (you could also use walnuts or almonds)
1 cup Parmesan
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp agave syrup-optional
salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for Angie's Gremolata- optional
This gremolata will add crunch and flavor to the dish. The combination of the ingredients below helped take this simple pasta dish to another level of YUM. 

zest one lemon
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup parsley- finely chopped
1/4 cup Parmesan- finely grated

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Directions for the Kale Pesto

Place all the above ingredients in your food processor except for the salt and pepper and olive oil.  
Pulse while slowly adding the olive oil.
Season with salt and pepper as desired. 
Coat your favorite pasta with the kale pesto.  Garnish with the gremolata, toasted pine nuts and shaved Parmesan cheese. If you have left over pesto, it can be stored in the fridge for up to three days. 

Note: If you are freezing this pesto I recommend leaving the cheese out of the pesto until after you defrost it. 

To my friends with children,

If you want to jazz up your Alfredo sauce for the kids, this pesto is a great way to add vegetables to their creamy pasta dish.  

Have a great week!


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