In the summer time, my go to quick and easy meal is often pasta with fresh veggies and a traditional pesto sauce, especially on a Saturday when I can get a huge bag of basil for $5 at the farmer’s market. In the winter, basil in that quantity is not only scarce, it’s expensive, so much that I’ll usually buy the Whole in the Wall brand that is sold at our local coop (the Merc). That was until I discovered this alternative.
I enjoy kale, but sometimes Mr. BS is a little skeptical of all that leafy green. He didn’t even notice it in this dish, and absolutely loved it. This packs all the nutritional value of fresh, raw kale whipped up with the decadent creaminess of a bit of olive oil and goat cheese. Instead of pine nuts, which are fabulous but expensive, I’ve used almonds and added a few on top for an extra crunch.
Kale Pesto and Goat Cheese Pasta
inspired by this recipe from one of my favorite blogs, 101 Cookbooks
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 4 small shallots
- 1 small bunch of kale (I used lacinato kale, but any variety will do)
- 1/3 cup (or less) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 oz goat cheese, plus more for topping
- 3 T almonds, toasted
- 2 tablespoons hot pasta water
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 T fresh lemon juice
- 12 oz dried pasta or 1 batch fresh pasta
Cook pasta according to directions (we like to use homemade fresh pasta or whole wheat), reserving two tablespoons of water. Pull leaves of kale off of stalks and tear into small pieces. Discard stalks. Add all ingredients to food processor and blend until smooth. Toss pasta until coated, adding olive oil or more pasta water to create your desired consistency. Add a few bits of goat cheese and toasted almonds on top.
This dish satisfies my pasta craving without making me feel bad for indulging in a lot of cheese. While the flavor is obviously different from traditional basil pesto, the shallots, garlic, and kale pack a spicy punch and don’t disappoint! This is our way of enjoying pesto in those long, dark winter months when we’re dreaming of summer full of basil and fresh tomatoes. Serve this with some steamed broccoli or a side salad for a quick, easy, midweek meal.