Picking fresh kale from the garden or finding the perfect bunch at the local farmers market is so satisfying, and even more so when you discover the flavors of this gorgeous, neon-green kale sauce. The kale sauce has a rich and bright flavor. The Pecorino cheese warms the soul and the cavatappi grabs the sauce completely for a perfect bite every time.

Double Duty Recipe: Not only does this sauce freeze well, but it makes a great appetizer. Smear on toasted baguettes, top with shaved cheese, a sprinkle of fresh ground pepper, and chopped pistachios or walnuts. Pop under the broiler for 30 seconds for a beautiful and scrumptious appetizer or side dish.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for finish
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound lacinato or Russian kale, ribs removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces cavatappi or other favorite short pasta
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Use tongs to remove kale from water, saving the water to cook the pasta, and place the kale in a high-speed blender.
  2. While the kale cooks, combine the olive oil and garlic in a small sauce pan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until garlic is fragrant and lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add the olive oil mixture to the blender with the kale and purée until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Bring the reserved kale water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
  5. Add the blended kale sauce and the Parmesan cheese to pasta and stir vigorously until combined. If necessary, add reserved cooking liquid to moisten the sauce.
  6. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with olive oil. Top with additional Parmesan cheese.