For meatless Monday, I wanted to try this recipe from Field To Feast: Celebrating Florida Farmers. Chefs and Artisans. I had kale from my Front Porch Pickings basket and, while I adore kale, my son just sees another green he isn't overly fond of. That being said, he knew that this dish had kale in it and still ate 2 HUGE plates of it! That isn't just surprising, it is un-freakin real! Even the 3 year old, who hates all things green so much she breaks her green goldfish crackers rather than be made to eat them, ate a bit of it before switching to plain pasta. That almost qualifies as a miracle in this house. It could even easily be made vegan; just leave out the parm. I can't believe I am going to say this since I LOVE cheese, but I think it tasted good even before the addition of the cheese and wouldn't suffer much, if at all, taste wise with out the cheese. It was a very thick paste before the addition of the pasta water, and I used the full cup. While this recipe called for lacinato kale, I used the green I got in the basket. Kale is so good for you, I'm so happy I found a way my kids like it! I love the pesto so much, I am looking for other ways to utilize it! Pizza? Twice baked potatoes or sauce for roasted potatoes. Etc... 4.5 stars!!
Kale Pesto Pasta
1 Large bunch of Kale (about 1/2 pound) center stems discarded and roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon Coarse salt (plus more to taste)
1 Pound Spaghetti
1/2 Cup unsalted, roasted almonds
1 Garlic Clove (I used 2) (I put mine through a press)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for garnish)
Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste
1) Bring a large pot of water to a boil, make a bowl of water and ice and set aside
2) Add the kale and the tbsp. of salt to the boiling water and let the kale cook for about 7 minutes and it is tender and wilted. Remove the kale with tongs or skimmer to the ice bath. Put the pasta in the water you cooked the kale in and cook according to package.
3) While the pasta cooks, put the almonds in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Put the kale in paper towels and squeeze to get the water off the leaves. Add the kale and garlic to bowl of the food processor and process until everything is finely chopped. With the processor running, slowly add the oil until it forms a thick paste.
4) Transfer the pesto to a large bowl and mix in the Parmesan. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. When the pasta is done, drain (don't for get to save the cup of cooking water) and add to the bowl with the pesto. Mix and coat the pasta with the pesto adding the cooking water as needed to make the right consistency of sauce. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with more parm.