Spaghetti with kale, pecan and pecorino pesto

Today is my dad’s birthday and as a tribute to him, I made spaghetti for lunch. He loves pasta, especially spaghetti, he could eat it every day, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. His favorite is the very simple spaghetti aglio, olio e pepperoncino, lots of pepperoncino. With the upcoming colder part of the year, the kale season has started, so I decided to give kale pesto a try. Up till now, I was very traditional in terms of pesto making. The only real pesto sauce in my dictionary was based on basil. Lately, I’ve been reading about spinach pesto and kale pesto and even broccoli pesto… so, why not give it a try?! I chose kale because I love it, it’s super good for you and I feel less guilty eating pasta, if the sauce is made with a super food! And on top, it’s my dad’s birthday, so basically, it’s a gift to him ;-).

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For the kale pesto
100 g of kale (I used baby kale leaves)
3 cloves of garlic
40 g of pecans, lightly toasted
Grated pecorino cheese
4-5 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Pesto is so simple to make and no cooking is required! You can make a bit more and store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks for all pasta cravings after stressful days at work. You can also use it to enhance the taste of veggies like zucchini, make a salad dressing with it or switch the pasta for any type of gnocchis (dumplings).

Basically, all you have to do is place all the ingredients in a small mixer and blend until the ingredients are well blended, almost creamy (the more pecorino cheese you add, the creamier it will be). This pesto has a more delicate, nuttier flavor compared to the traditional basil pesto but the pecorino adds a punch to it that I love. If you don’t have pecorino cheese, you can also use parmesan cheese, it will taste amazing with both. You can also experiment with the nuts and try it with hazelnuts.

While you’re preparing the pesto, cook up your favorite pasta and then just mix the two together and sprinkle with grated pecorino or parmiggiano. personally, I love pesto with spaghetti or linguine and I add a generous amount of cheese on top. Besides spaghetti with simple tomato and basil sauce, spaghetti with pesto are among my top 3 favorite pasta dishes :-). By the way, I chose rice spaghetti as they are gluten-free.

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