Kale Pesto Pasta

Kale Pesto Pasta

Prep Time Prep: 15m Cook Time Cook: 15m Total Time Total: 30m

Yield: 6

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Kale makes a great inexpensive and earthy pesto! Dress up this Kale Pesto pasta with add-ins to make it a meal, or keep it simple for the perfect summer side. 

  • 1 lb pasta ($1.49)
  • 4 cups kale, chopped, loosely packed ($0.50)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, or as needed ($0.82)
  • 1 large lemon (1/4 c juice, 1 Tbsp zest) ($0.75)
  • 1 clove garlic ($0.08)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts ($0.57)
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan, grated ($0.55)
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or as needed ($0.03)
  • Freshly cracked pepper to taste ($0.05)
  • 4 oz. mozzarella (optional) ($2.00)
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add the pasta and continue to boil until the pasta is tender. Drain in a colander and let cool.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the pesto. Pull the kale leaves from the woody stems, and roughly chop into thin strips. Place the kale in a colander and rinse with cool water. Let the excess water drain away.
  3. Add the chopped and washed kale to a food processor along with the olive oil, 1/4 cup juice from the lemon, garlic, walnuts, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Purée the mixture until smooth and bright green. Add more oil if needed to allow the mixture to become a thick, smooth sauce. Taste the pesto and adjust the salt, pepper, or lemon juice to your liking. Set the pesto aside.
  4. Once the pasta is drained and cooled to the point where it is no longer steaming, transfer it to a large bowl. Add about half of the pesto and stir until the pasta is coated. 
  5. Dice the mozzarella into small cubes, then add it to the pasta along with about 1 Tbsp of the zest from the lemon. Stir to combine with the pesto pasta. Add more pesto until everything is coated in a thick layer. Top with more freshly cracked pepper and serve, or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pasta ($1.49)
  • 4 cups kale, chopped, loosely packed ($0.50)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, or as needed ($0.82)
  • 1 large lemon (1/4 c juice, 1 Tbsp zest) ($0.75)
  • 1 clove garlic ($0.08)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts ($0.57)
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan, grated ($0.55)
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or as needed ($0.03)
  • Freshly cracked pepper to taste ($0.05)
  • 4 oz. mozzarella (optional) ($2.00)

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add the pasta and continue to boil until the pasta is tender. Drain in a colander and let cool.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the pesto. Pull the kale leaves from the woody stems, and roughly chop into thin strips. Place the kale in a colander and rinse with cool water. Let the excess water drain away.
  3. Add the chopped and washed kale to a food processor along with the olive oil, 1/4 cup juice from the lemon, garlic, walnuts, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Purée the mixture until smooth and bright green. Add more oil if needed to allow the mixture to become a thick, smooth sauce. Taste the pesto and adjust the salt, pepper, or lemon juice to your liking. Set the pesto aside.
  4. Once the pasta is drained and cooled to the point where it is no longer steaming, transfer it to a large bowl. Add about half of the pesto and stir until the pasta is coated. 
  5. Dice the mozzarella into small cubes, then add it to the pasta along with about 1 Tbsp of the zest from the lemon. Stir to combine with the pesto pasta. Add more pesto until everything is coated in a thick layer. Top with more freshly cracked pepper and serve, or refrigerate until ready to eat.