Thursday, June 9

Pesto Penne with Kale & Pignolas

My boyfriend occasionally golfs after work, so I usually cook something for myself and make extras for him to reheat later. I try to make something that microwaves well and doesn't take much effort on my end, so I decided to make a quick pasta entree using some home-made pesto I keep in the freezer. This dish is similar to the spaghetti with kale or the pesto linguine with mixed vegetables I've featured before, but with an added sweetness from the pine nuts. This is also a great option for leftovers or feeding a large crowd.

Pesto Penne with Kale & Pignolas:*
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. 
  • Season the water with salt and cook 1/2 lb. dried, whole wheat penne pasta until 2 minutes before al dente.
  • Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 c. pasta cooking liquid.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet.
  • Add 1 bunch of chopped black kale, 2 minced garlic cloves, salt, pepper, and red chili flakes to the pan.
  • Cook kale for 2-3 minutes, until wilted, and add 1/2 c. chicken stock.
  • Let kale braise for 7-9 minutes.
  • Add pasta cooking liquid and 1/4 c. fresh, high-quality pesto to the pan.
  • Add the penne and 2 tbsp. toasted pignolas** and toss the whole mixture together for 2-3 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente and has absorbed most of the sauce.
  • To serve, divide pasta onto plates and top with extra toasted pine nuts and Parmesan cheese.

Serves two- three
*Pine nuts
**To toast pignolias, place them in a dry pan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.