Kale Pesto with Cavatappi Pasta




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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.


• 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. Omit the parmesan for a vegan version


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 (save the water to cook the pasta) and place the kale in a high-speed blender.
2. While you wait for the water to boil, in a small sauce pan, combine the olive oil and garlic. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until garlic is fragrant and lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes and then 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 and return the pasta 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 and top with additional parmesan cheese.


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

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