Spicey Kale & Almond Pasta

July 10th, 2011 No Comments » Posted in recipes, Spring

1 bunch kale, washed and drained
4 ounces dried penne pasta
½ cup whole almonds, toasted
1½ tbsp garlic (about 5 large cloves
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ tsp salt
Juice of two lemons, divided
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1  19-ounce can white (cannellini) beans, rinsed and drained
⅛ tsp salt
1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
¼ – ½ tsp red pepper flakes
Freshly ground pepper

1. Cut lower stems from kales.  Steam kale of 2 quarts boiling water for 5-7 minutes, until tender.  Transfer to a colander to drain.  Do not discard water.  Add pasta to water on stove and return to boil, stirring.  When pasta is al dente, drain.

2. Meanwhile, place almonds in food processor and process until well chopped.  Add garlic, cheese, ½ tsp salt, and juice of one lemon.  Carefully squeeze water from steamed kales and remove leaves from stems.  Discard stems.  Pat leaves dry with paper towels and chop roughly.  Pat dry again and add to food processor.  Process until all ingredients are finely mined.  With motor running, add 2 tbsp olive oil in a stream until a thick pesto is formed.

3. In a medium bowl, toss beans with juice of one lemon and ⅛ tsp salt.

4. In a large skillet, heat tsp olive oil over medium heat.  Add red pepper flakes and fry for about one minute.  Add kale-almond pesto and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds.  If pesto seems too thick, thin with a small amount of water.  Add pasta and beans and toss gently until thoroughly heated.  Sprinkle with black pepper and serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of December 2003 Delicious Living publication