A miracle happened yesterday.
The sun was out. It was shining on my face. It felt like summer. I sat out on our deck in shorts and a tshirt and was soaking up the sun. I got a heafty dose of vitamin D. I’m pretty sure I have gotten zero vitmain D this winter! Isn’t it crazy how just a little sunshine can give you a whole new outlook on life? I’ve been curled up under a blanket all winter and just a one hour sun session re-energized me and got me looking forward to all the wonderful days of spring ahead.
It is a good thing that I got to enjoy the weather yesterday because today the tempature has dropped by 40 degrees and it is raining/snowing/sleeting. Only in Missouri can it be 80 degrees one day and drop into the 30′s the next. I live in a weird state.
While I was getting some sun on my pastey self, I was thinking about what to make for dinner, and came up with this easy Parsley Pesto Pasta with Crispy Kale.
With the temperatues being a glimpse of what is to come when spring finally arrives, it made me want to make a meal with spring flavors. This pasta is coated in a pesto that is light and satisfying. This pesto is made with a little bit of basil, parsley, walnuts, and cheese with a little bit of lemon to an extra brightness added to this dish.
Another awesome factor about this dish is that you top it with crispy kale. Kale is a super food and it seems like all the rage recently. I have tried raw kale in salads and I’m not a big fan of it because it taste slightly bitter. But when you do a quick broil on the kale, it gets so krispy like a potato chip and is a great texture contrast in the pasta. Plus when you top pasta with kale, you get out of making a salad because it is right on top of your pasta!
This meal is super quick to come together as well. The thing that takes the longest is waiting for the water to boil to cook the pasta! I make this meal gluten free by using a gluten free pasta.
So even though winter has made a re-apperance, I can pretend that it is spring with a big bowl of this pasta. Join me as I dream of spring…
- 1 pound short cut gluten free pasta
- 1 large bunch of kale, stemmed and chopped
- olive oil
- ½ cup walnuts
- ½ cup packed basil leaves
- 1 cup packed parsley leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, grated on microplane grater
- ⅓ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- ⅓ cup shredded ramano cheese
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Place a large pasta pot over high heat and wait for it to come to a boil for the pasta. When the water comes to a boil, salt the water itself and drop in the pasta. Cook according to package instructions.
- Place the broiler in the oven on high. In a bowl mix together the stemmed and chopped kale with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Lightly toss to evenly coat.
- Place a wire cookie cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet and put the kale on top. This way the heat can ciruclate all around the kale. Place under the broiler until the kale becomes crispy, about 5 mintues. Set aside for topping.
- In a small pan toast the walnuts until they become fragrant and browned.
- While the pasta is cooking, make the pesto. In a food processor combine the walnuts, basil, parsley, grated garlic, cheeses, salt and pepper. Pulse a few times and then slowly stream in about ¼ cup of olive oil until the sauce starts to pull together. It should be thick. Transfer to a serving bowl.
- Right before you drain the pasta, take a coffe mug and scoop out some of the starchy water that it has been cooking in.
- Place the drained pasta in the serving dish with the pesto and add in some of the starchy cooking liquid from the pasta. Stir to combine. Add in as much or little of the cooking liquid to make the sauce come togther with pasta.
- Top with the crispy kale and extra cheese.