Kale Pesto Spaghetti

Although pesto with basil is well known, it can be prepared with a variety of greens and herbs. Here, I chose to use kale, this super-nutritious vegetable recognized for its health benefits. 

Kale’s health benefits are due to its high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant, vitamins A, C, and K. One cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories, 9% of the daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C and a whopping 684% of vitamin K. It is also a great source of iron, manganese, potassium and phosphorus. Kale can also help lower cholesterol levels, is a detox food and low in calories, is great at fighting many cancers, supports a healthy immune system, has great visual benefits and is great for digestion and elimination. 

All these benefits made me cook Kale pesto with whole wheat spaghetti for better digestion. This is a healthy recipe, easy to make and delicious to eat.

Recipe for two:

  • 4 big kale bunches 
  • 100 g of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 200 ml of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 big chopped garlic cloves 
  • 80 g of pin nuts 
  • 1 teaspoon of salt 
  • 2 teaspoons of crushed red chili pepper flakes
  • 200 g of whole wheat spaghetti
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and cold water.
  2. In the meantime, pre-heat oven to 180°C then add pin nuts to a baking sheet and bake in oven for 5-10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Set aside when ready.
  3. Pour the kale into the boiling water for 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the kale from the hot water to the cold water bowl. It helps the kale to keep its bright green color. After 3 minutes, drain the kale into a colander to press out excess water.
  4. Put the kale and all the remaining ingredients in a food processor (including toasted pin nuts) and puree until smooth. Transfer to a sauce pan, on a lower heat, to heat it slowly. 
  5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook whole wheat spaghetti until al-dente.
  6. Drain well. Toss the whole wheat spaghetti with the warm kale pesto to coat, for one or two minutes. Adjust the seasoning, add extra cheese and pin nuts.
  7. Diner is ready!