Kale Pesto Pasta


Michelle shared a Kale Pesto Pasta for the main course at the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.

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Here are some facts about kale that Michelle shared with us:

  • Kale has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years. Popular in Europe during Roman times and the Middle Ages, it arrived in the United States in the 17th century.
  • Kale belongs to the same family as cabbage, Brussels sprouts and collards.
  • Kale for snack. Kale chips are a nutritious, easy to make snack.
  • Kale is packed with antioxidants, which help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. Some research suggests kale helps reduce the risk of certain cancers.
  • One cup of chopped raw kale provides more than 100% of the daily value of vitamins A, C and K.
  • For the best flavour, kale must be harvested after the first frost. This ensures some of the starches are turned into sugars.
  • Types of kales are differentiated by color (green, white, purple, or bluish green) and leaf shape.
  • Kale contains lutein, a type of carotenoid (an organic pigment) responsible for the plant’s color and nutrients. Lutein helps keep eyes and vision healthy. From Webmd.com.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch lacinto kale or other kale or hearty green
  • 10 oil packed anchovies, optional
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone or heavy cream or soft cream cheese
  • 1 pound penne rigate
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup pasta water, to thin

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Source: this recipe is adapted from Gwyneth Palthrow’s My Father’s Daughter cookbook


Instructions

012Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Add kale and cook for 7 minutes.Remove kale to a strainer to drain.
031Whiz kale together with anchovies (if using), garlic, olive oil and pepper in a blender until smooth.Pour into a bowl and stir in mascarpone, heavy cream or cream cheese.
023Using the same pot of water to cook the kale, add salt and cook pasta according to package instructions, adding the frozen peas during the last 3 minutes of cooking.Reserving a cup of cooking pasta water, drain the pasta and peas.

Combine pasta and peas with the pesto, thinning with the reserved cooking pasta water if necessary.

Serve with plenty of parmesan.

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