Pasta With Kale and Walnut Pesto

Photo by Con Poulos
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  • Serves 4
  • Hands-On Time
  • Total Time
  • Nutritional Information

    Nutritional Information

    Per Serving

    • Calories 830 calories
    • Fat 44 g
    • Sat Fat 10 g
    • Cholesterol 18 mg
    • Sodium 786 mg
    • Protein 27 g
    • Carbohydrate 85 g
    • Sugar 4 g
    • Fiber 8 g
    • Iron 7 mg
    • Calcium 650 mg


  1. Check 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons walnuts
  2. Check 1 bunch kale, thick stems discarded and leaves torn (about 12 cups)
  3. Check 1 cup grated pecorino (2 ounces), plus more for serving
  4. Check 1 small clove garlic
  5. Check kosher salt and black pepper
  6. Check 1/2 cup olive oil
  7. Check 3/4 pound fusilli, penne, or some other short pasta


  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Spread the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes; let cool. Chop 2 tablespoons of the walnuts and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the kale and cook until bright green, 30 seconds. Transfer the kale to a colander (reserve the cooking water); squeeze dry when cool enough to handle.
  3. In a food processor, combine the kale, pecorino, garlic, the remaining ⅓ cup of unchopped walnuts, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Process until finely chopped. With the machine running, add the oil through the feed tube in a steady stream.
  4. Bring the reserved cooking water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the pesto and ¼ cup of the reserved cooking water and toss to coat (add more cooking water if the pasta seems dry). Serve the pasta sprinkled with the pecorino and chopped walnuts.