Weeknight CookingWhat to CookPastaVegetablesWildcard Winners

A Seasonal Pesto that Tames Winter Greens

1 Save

If you like it, save it!

Save and organize all of the stuff you love in one place.

Got it!

If you like something…

Click the heart, it's called favoriting. Favorite the stuff you like.

Got it!

Basil pesto is a tease, a summer love—during warmer days, we couldn't get enough of each other. But as soon as summer came to an end, so did basil, with promises that we'd be reunited next year. And in its place came harsher greens like chard and broccoli rabe and mustard.

Penne with Creamed Greens and Pancetta
Penne with Creamed Greens and Pancetta

These winter greens, Amanda Hesser writes in the headnote to her recipe, Penne with Creamed Greens and Pancetta, are more troublesome than lush, mild basil:

Advertisement

At the market, they look so appealing, so lush and irresistible. But as soon as I get them home, I find myself stressed out by how much room they take up in the fridge, and how quickly they begin to lose their lustre.

But with patience—and the right chemistry—Amanda has transformed these greens into a harmonious marriage, where the bitterness of the rabe is tamed by heavy cream and pecorino, with pancetta serving as a mediator. Sure, you might still find us missing basil, but our lonely, pesto-less days are over:

508bccc4 751a 494b 9c29 5b7ade78acd7  2016 0211 penne with creamed greens and pancetta bobbi lin 17365

Penne with Creamed Greens and Pancetta

397bc6d3 46e8 4d02 8a39 ce4a087eb481  2015 0609 amanda portrait 135 Amanda Hesser
853 Save Recipe
Serves 4
  • Salt
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice (optional)
  • 1 pound broccoli rabe, rinsed and trimmed
  • 1 medium bunch dinosaur kale, rinsed and stems trimmed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/3 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 pound penne rigate
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons grated pecorino Romano

What's your favorite way to enjoy pesto through the winter? Tell us in the comments below!


Tags: winter produce, winter pesto, pesto, penne