Penne with Kale and Rocket (Arugula) and Walnut Pesto


I love the whole idea of kale. It is so packed with nutrients that it is touted as one of the world's healthiest foods, and has such fabulous colour and texture that I have been wanting to put it into a pasta dish for a while now so...ta dah! This dish is quite earthy and earnest if you know what I mean, and totally delicious. Make sure you add a great big dollop of the Rocket (Arugula) and Walnut Pesto at the end and give it a good stir through - then you can enjoy your pasta knowing it is also doing you the world of good! Extra bonus anti-oxidant points with a lovely glass of red wine... (Vegetarian option included with the recipe).

Rocket & Walnut Pesto:

1/2 cup lightly toasted walnuts
1/2 cup grated parmesan
2 cloves garlic (small - or 1 large) crushed
2 cups rocket (that's arugula to some of you!)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
plenty of sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

Feel free to make the Rocket and Walnut Pesto the day before - throw it all in the whizzie and blend - that's it. Store in an air-tight container until you are ready to use it. If it thickens up too much, just add a wee bit more extra virgin olive oil.

 500g penne pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
250g streaky bacon or pancetta, chopped (optional)
5 cloves garlic, crushed
250g kale, stems stripped out, roughly chopped
1/3 - 1/2 cup pasta water reserved
1/4 cup cream
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, to serve
1/2 cup lightly toasted walnuts, to serve
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to serve

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil for the pasta and cook according to the packet instructions, until al dente. Meanwhile heat olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pot and cook bacon over a medium heat until crisp, for about 8 minutes. (If you prefer to make a vegetarian dish, omit the first step, and simply heat the oil and start here: ) Add kale and garlic and toss over the heat for a few minutes until the kale starts to wilt. Add pasta water and cook for a further 10 minutes, until kale is just tender, and most of the water is absorbed. Add cream and drained pasta and mix to combine, cooking for 2 or 3 minutes to heat through. Season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and serve with a big dollop of pesto, a few toasted walnuts and pass grated Parmesan separately. Serves 4


  1. Que delicia.
    Kiss, Susana
    Nota: Ver o passatempo a decorrer no meu blog: