Kale Pesto Pasta with Sauteed Mushrooms and Burst Cherry Tomatoes

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Pesto is a true gift and in this classic Kalevani move I used kale instead of the traditional basil.  Anytime I can sneak in some kale to justify a cheesy carb situation I’m into it.

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Pouring hot water over the kale removes some of the bitterness and the result is some really really yummy pesto that just tastes like good pesto not necessarily superfood kale pesto.

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I added in some sauteed tomatoes (I love when they are all juicy and bursting open) and meaty mushrooms.  This would be great with any veggie of your choice though.  I’m pretty much a go to with whole wheat pasta or fresh pasta but I’ve been trying out some gluten free pastas lately and have been pretty in to them.  The dish feels a little lighter and I can’t really tell the difference (just make sure, as always, that you don’t overcook).  You can use any pasta your heart desires though.  No matter what shape you choose, this giant bowl of green goodness with little studs of red is satisfying and comforting in all the right ways.

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You’ll need (for four hungry people):

  • 1 bunch kale chopped, stems removed(roughly 2-3 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 0.25 cups toasted pine nuts or walnuts, chopped
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • 16 ounces pasta
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 16 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
  • Salt/pep

To Make:

  1. Place kale in a colander in the sink.  Boil water in a tea kettle.  Pour hot water over kale to wilt.  Instantly rinse with cold water to stop cooking.  Drain kale and squeeze out excess water.
  2. Place one clove of minced garlic, kale and walnuts in a food processor, pulsing to combine.  On low speed, slowly drizzle in olive oil until smooth.  Mix in parmesan. Season with salt/pep.
  3. Drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat.  Add one clove minced garlic and sauté one minute or until fragrant.  Add cherry tomatoes and sauté for eight to ten minutes until softening.  Add mushrooms and sauté another five minutes, until soft.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente.  Reserve a half cup of the pasta water.  Drain pasta and toss with the pesto, adding pasta water to thin out if necessary.  Add the tomatoes and mushrooms and stir to combine.  Serve hot/warm (I loved this hot but didn’t love it as much as leftovers).

Inspired by ABeautifulPlate

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