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Making pesto with kale instead of basil isn't just healthier, it's unexpectedly delicious. And according to the dish's creator, chef Chris Cosentino, it's a simple way to get kids to eat kale. Plus:  Pasta Recipes 

Chris Cosentino
July 2014

Gallery

© Fredrika Stjärne

Recipe Summary

total:
30 mins
Yield:
4 to 6
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Bring 2 large pots of generously salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Add the kale to one of the pots and cook for 1 minute, until bright green and just tender. Drain and immediately transfer to the ice water. When cool, drain again. Transfer the kale to a work surface with some water clinging to the leaves and chop.

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  • Meanwhile, add the rigatoni to the other pot of boiling water. Cook until almost al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.

  • Transfer the kale to a blender. Add the garlic and pine nuts and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the oil and process until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large bowl and stir in the 1/2 cup of Pecorino and the lemon zest. Season to taste with the Aleppo pepper, salt and black pepper.

  • Return the pasta to the pot. Add the pesto and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, adding some of the pasta water if it seems dry. Spoon the pasta into bowls, top with additional cheese and Aleppo pepper and serve.

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