Dinner · Favorite · Gluten Free · Hot · Recipe · Vegan · Vegetarian

Kale & Toasted Walnut Pesto

This recipe was created to use the extra basil from the Aero Garden!  While not a traditional pesto with pine nuts and parmesan cheese, I used what we had instead.  And the spiciness from all the raw garlic was perfect.


I used whole wheat penne for this because its what we had in the pantry, but I would like to try this with other kinds in the future (rotini, orechetti, radiatore, etc).


For the Pasta

Whole Wheat Penne (Or you can Sub Gluten Free!)

1 cup Kale

1 cup mushrooms

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup frozen peas

For the Pesto

2 cups kale

1 cup fresh basil

1/2 cup walnuts

5 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup parsley

1/2 olive oil

1/4 cup water

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

To Make The Pasta

In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook.

In another large saucepan, toast the walnuts until they are nice and warm and brown.  Set aside.  In the same pan sauté the mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and frozen peas about 10 minutes until they are nice and soft.  Hit it with some salt and pepper.  Add 1 cup kale until its wilted (about 5 minutes) and all veggies are soft.

To Make The Sauce

In the food processor combine 2 cups kale, fresh basil, fresh parsley, garlic, and toasted walnuts from above.  Pulse on high, and stream in the olive oil while the pesto is mixing.  Do a little taste test, and if the pesto needs a smoother consistency, then pulse again and slowly add in the water.  I added about 1/4 cup.

Aaaaand voila! 

When pasta is done cooking, strain and add it to the saucepan with the mushrooms, tomatoes, and kale.  Then fold in 1 cup of pesto and mix!  I finished it with a little garlic salt this time.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

This recipe made about 2 cups of pesto, so I had a whole extra cup of liquid gold…. which I plan to enjoy for dinner again tonight!  Maybe with a different shape of pasta and a sautéed zucchini.


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