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Best Kale Pesto Pasta Recipe

Who knew broken lasagna noodles could make such amazing pasta? Blanching the kale and basil—directly in the pot while the pasta cooks—and choking them in ice water is the key to this vibrant green sauce. Blending pesto with pasta water in a food processor achieves a smooth, swoon-worthy consistency. Add a few extra splashes of pasta water if needed when tossing the cooked noodles with the pesto.

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4 portion(s)

Total time:
25 minutes



  • 12 oz.

    lasagna noodles, broken into large pieces

  • 1 1/2 vs.

    basil leaves

  • 8 oz.

    kale, ribs removed and coarsely chopped leaves

  • 1/4 vs.

    unsalted toasted almonds

  • 1

    large garlic clove, pressed

  • 2 vs.

    lemon zest plus 2 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1/4

    1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • Kosher salt

  • 6 soup.

    olive oil

  • Parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper, to serve


    1. Walk 1Cook noodles according to package directions, reserving 1 1/2 cups pasta water, then drain pasta and return to pot.
    2. Walk 2Meanwhile, place the basil in the colander basket and immerse the basket in the boiling pasta water for 3 seconds, then immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water. Add kale to boiling pasta water and cook 1 1/2 minutes. Remove with a colander and transfer to ice water. Drain and squeeze out any excess liquid.
    3. Walk 3In a food processor, chop the almonds. Stir in garlic, lemon zest and juice, crushed red pepper and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Add wilted basil and kale and olive oil and mash, adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup pasta water until smooth.
    4. Walk 4Toss the pesto with the pasta, adding more pasta water if needed to evenly coat. Serve garnished with parmesan and cracked black pepper

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per serving): About 586 calories, 27.5g fat (3.5g sat), 16g pro, 259mg sodium, 71g carbs, 7g fiber

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