Kale Pesto with Tomatoes and Walnuts over Shells

What do you do when you have over 3 lbs. of kale that you have to eat before it goes bad? I tossed it into smoothies, salads, and made chips out of them, but I needed something new in my kale-loving life. Enter, kale pesto! I absolutely adore pesto, mainly because it’s one of the quickest sauces/dips to make when you don’t have much time. I know that I can walk in the door at 6:45 and have dinner on the table by 7 with this standby dish, and I find relief in that since my commute home can be long. I used walnuts because I thought the rich and buttery texture would help smooth out the taste of the raw kale, and I also threw in cherry tomatoes as this is an ingredient my Mom always put in her pestos. I fired up the food processor that my Mom gave me when I moved out, and in 15 minutes had a fresh meal on the table.



I was jamming out to this song by Rachael Yamagata at work when this recipe popped into my head. Her voice is so soothing and pairs perfectly with my mood when I settle in to work in the morning.

Kale Pesto with Tomatoes and Walnuts over Shells
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • ½ lb pasta shells
  • 2 c of kale
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 handfuls of walnuts
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 tbs parmesean cheese
  • 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  1. Boil water and get your pasta cooking.
  2. While it's cooking, combine the kale, tomatoes, walnuts, salt, crush pepper, garlic clove and parmesean in a food processor.
  3. Pulse until everything is incorporated.
  4. Turn on food processor again and drizzle in the evoo until it brings the pesto together.
  5. Toss over pasta and serve immediately.


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