Kale Pesto Pasta with Walnuts is a refreshing, zesty, lemony, and buttery Spring and Summer favorite Pasta recipe. Zesty and delicious Kale Pesto is tossed with Pasta and Toasted Walnuts along with loads of Garlic, Parmesan, a hint of red pepper flakes. This Kale Pesto Pasta has an earthy flavor to itself. It's obviously healthy and is super easy to make. This is served with some cream whipped Ricotta on the side and that makes this extra creamy and delicious.
The smoothness of Olive Oil, the nuttiness of toasted walnuts, the creamy pesto, and freshly grated Parmesan Cheese on top make this the best pasta dish ever.
What I love about this recipe
- The nuttiness of toasted walnuts
- The creaminess of Homemade Kale Pesto
- The smoothness of Angel Hair Pasta
- The distinct taste and flavor of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kale Pesto Pasta with Walnuts
This Kale Pesto Pasta is a hearty and comforting dinner recipe. I love Pesto Pasta. Especially for weekends or Thursday night dinner, I always plan on making a Pasta recipe for my family.
This Kale Pesto Pasta really has me written all over it. Subtle on flavors with the hint of garlic, that perfect taste of Kale Pesto, the nuttiness of Walnuts and the Creamy goodness of Parmesan and Ricotta in every bite, all flavors brought to life with that hint of lemon and Olive Oil which actually makes this taste like a true blue Tuscan Kale Pesto Pasta!
Authentic Kale Pesto
If you visit Southern Italy, especially Florence or Tuscany you can taste some really good quality of Pesto. And in Italy, it's not just limited to the Basil Pesto. There's Red Pesto, there's Citrus Pesto, their's Pesto Modenese, and so many more varieties. This Kale Pesto is actually everywhere in Florence these days and it's just the best. Its got the same flavors of Basil, Olive Oil, Garlic but along with that, you have Kale and Almonds (as opposed to Pine Nuts). This is what makes this Kale Pesto so light and refreshing!
How to make Kale Pesto
You can make Kale Pesto in the food processor. It's so very easy and is light and super refreshing. It goes great with all kinds of Pasta.
In a food processor pulse together the following ingredients until chunky smooth.
- Chopped Kale (Preferably Black Tuscan Kale)
- Fresh Basil
- Raw Almonds
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Garlic Cloves
- Parmesan Cheese
The Choice of Pasta
This Kale Pesto is best paired with Pasta. I do not recommend you to use it with bread or Pasta as it won't taste good. But it tastes just amazing with Pasta.
You can use any Pasta you love. However, I like to go with Angel Hair Pasta or Linguine or Spaghetti or Rigatoni as it holds the flavors better. You can also use small shells or Penne or any other pasta of your choice.
How to make Kale Pesto Pasta with Walnuts
Below is a brief description of the recipe. You can find the detailed recipe card below. Also, watch the video for a visual.
STEP 1: Making Kale Pesto
- In a food processor, pulse together Chopped Kale, Raw Almonds, Parmesan Cheese, Basil, Olive Oil, and Parmesan Cheese
- Pulse until chunky smooth
STEP 2: Boil the Pasta
- Boil a Pot of water with salt
- Add the pasta and cook until al dente
- Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water
- Drain the pasta and keep it aside
STEP 3: Making the Pasta
- Heat butter and Olive Oil in a Pan
- As the oil shimmers, add the chopped Walnuts, Lemon Zest, Salt, and Red Pepper Flakes
- Next, add Thyme and minced Garlic. Saute until fragrant
- Add the Pasta, the Kale Pesto, and the reserved pasta water
- Toss until combined.
STEP 4: Making Whipped Ricotta
- Whip Ricotta Cheese in the food processor along with some salt & pepper
- Whip until smooth and creamy
STEP 5: Serve
- Serve this Kale Pesto Pasta with the Whipped Ricotta
- Garnish with Lemon Juice, Lemon Zest, and more Parmesan Cheese.
- Add some Olive oil to the whipped ricotta for extra good flavors.
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Kale Pesto Pasta with Walnuts
For Kale Pesto
- 3 stalks Kale finely chopped
- 1 cup Raw Almonds
- ½ cup Parmesan Cheese
- ¼ cup Basil finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 1 lbs Linguine Pasta / Angel Hair Pasta or your favourite Pasta
- 1 cup Raw Walnuts
- 2 sticks Salted Butter
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Zest
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 tablespoon Red Pepper flakes
- 3 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon Thyme dried (chopped if fresh)
- Bring a pot of water to boil with some salt. Cook the pasta as per package directions until al dente. Once cooked, reserve 1 cup of pasta water. Drain the Pasta.
- Add Kale to the Food Processor along with Almonds, Parmesan Cheese, Basil, and Olive Oil. Pulse until smooth.
- Heat butter in a skillet. As the butter shimmers, add the walnuts along with salt, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes. Toast until fragrant.
- Add the minced garlic and thyme. Saute until fragrant. Add Pasta to the pot. Also, add the Kale Pesto. Stir until combined.
- Garnish with lemon juice, lemon zest, and some Parmesan Cheese. Serve with whipped ricotta on the side. You can also serve with Burrata.
- To make Whipped Ricotta, just whip 1 tablespoon of Ricotta cheese in the food processor with some salt & pepper until smooth. Add olive oil over it and serve with your Pasta.
- To make a Vegan version use Vegan Butter and Vegan Parmesan and skip out on the Ricotta or Burrata.
- You can use any GF Pasta you love