Spicy? Check. Healthy? Check. Cheesy? Check. Super easy dinner in less than 10 minutes? Check.
Everyone loves pesto right? Well this is pesto with a twist.
When I need a quick and easy midweek meal my go-to is always pasta. This is my husband’s number one favourite meal without a doubt. Given the opportunity he would eat this every night, maybe with the occasional pizza and chicken larb to mix it up. We will have pasta for dinner at least once a week, however this is not enough for Will. He constantly complains to me that we don’t have pasta enough. As a result of this pasta obsession, we always have dried pasta in the house which makes it really easy to russle up a meal when the fridge and pantry are looking empty. It also means that I secretly get extra pasta cred with the hubby when actually I was just trying to scrape together a meal. Shhsshh!
So the other night there was that classic situation where I came home from work, stared at the fridge, stared at the pantry and all I saw was a few cobwebs, a tin of spam and some pasta. Okay, okay I joke! I am a food blogger after all, it never gets that bad. As for the spam?.. Just kidding my friends, that wasn’t there either. Exaggerations aside, My Little Larder was looking a little empty. So pasta it was for dinner. But what to put with it? It’s spring, so a nice light, fresh but still satisfying dinner was in order. Pasta and pesto! Perfect! But sadly I didn’t have any basil, but a huge bag of baby kale leaves which are in season at the moment. Result: say hello to Spaghetti with Spicy Kale Pesto.
Spaghetti with Spicy Kale Pesto
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 4 cups lightly packed baby kale or regular kale with stems removed
- 3 cloves garlic
- juice 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup 30g, 1 oz parmesan cheese, grated plus extra for serving
- 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes optional
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 400 g approx 1lb pasta, spaghetti or linguine
- 1 cup pasta cooking water
Oven 160C (325F) spread pine nuts baking sheet, bake 8-10 min stirring frequently to prevent burning. Let cool.
While nuts are cooling, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add pasta and cook according to the directions on the packet (approx 8 mins for spaghetti).
While the pasta is cooking, in a food processor or blender blend together the first 8 ingredients. Blend until almost smooth or desired consistency.
When the pasta is cooked, reserve 1 cup of the cooking water then drain the pasta.
Mix together, pasta pesto and 1 cup reserved pasta cooking water. Serve immediately with grated parmesan cheese.
The recipe yields 1 cup of pesto and will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
This recipe serves 4 people however if you are cooking for less people remember 100g (3.5oz) dried pasta per person with 1/4 cup pesto and 1/4 cup pasta cooking water.
Pasta should be cooked 'al dante' which means the outside is tender and the inside of the pasta is slightly firm.