Kale Pesto Orecchiette

By • January 2, 2014 • 1 Comments

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Author Notes: Here's a not-so-traditional pesto recipe. Hold the herbs and nuts. The recipe yields enough pesto for two dishes, so stock up the freezer! Any pasta could be used with the pesto, but I love how the orecchiette cups hold onto pools of pesto.Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast

Makes 4 servings + 1 container of pesto for the freezer

  • 2 bunches lacinato kale (stems removed, rough chop)
  • 1 yellow onion (diced)
  • 5 cloves garlic (rough chop)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
  • 1/2 lemon (juice)
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cups olive oil
  • 1 box orecchiette pasta
  • 1/2 cup pasta water
  1. This recipe makes about double what you need for pasta. I made the pesto and put half of it in the freezer for a super easy meal down the road.
  2. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp olive oil, onion, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Let cook down for 5 minutes. Add kale and 2 tbsp Dijon mustard. Cover and let steam and cook for 8 minutes, until kale is soft.
  3. In a food processor, add parmesan cheese, lemon juice, white vinegar, kale mixture, and a dash of salt and pepper. Pulse about 8 times. Now turn on the processor and stream in 3/4 cup olive oil slowly. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as necessary.
  4. Add about half of the pesto, which should be about 1 cup or 2 cups total, to a large serving bowl. Add the other half to a sealable container and pop in the freezer.
  5. Boil pasta according to the box in salty water. Before draining, add 1/2 cup pasta water to the pesto in the bowl. Drain pasta and add directly to the pesto. Combine with two wooden spoons and serve hot.
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8 months ago Lizthechef

Nice - I'm going to try this.