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Kale pesto with parmesan and cashews

Pasta with Kale Pesto

Pasta with Kale, Parmesan and Cashew Pesto

Inspired by my latest Ooooby box! This is so yum…

It’s an alternative to the classic basil and pinenuts ‘genovese’ pesto. (Aside: Dishes which come from Liguria like pesto alla genovese are traditionally “poor people’s food”. The area tends to be cliffs / mountains and has little growing land, and meat is therefore scarce. Their delicious walnut pasta sauce is another example of food which was easy to gather in that terrain. Ironically, buying the ingredients for pesto alla genovese today requires a small bank loan. This is a great alternative using healthy, (mainly) local ingredients. It’s not as acerbic as some pestos I’ve made, such as parsley pesto (although I admit I quite like that too!).)

Ingredients – pesto

Bunch of kale (about a handful)
Cashew nuts (about two handfuls)
Sunflower seeds (not essential but add to the flavour!)
Extra virgin olive oil – aplenty
Parmigiano cheese (50g or so)
  1. Toast the nuts to bring out their full flavour. I use a dry pan to do this – keep them moving so they don’t burn.
  2. Chop kale and grate parmigiano.
  3. In the food processor, blend first the nuts, then the other solid ingredients, then add the oil at a trickle.
  4. The finished pesto will be oily rather than dry.

Stir into about 300g of freshly cooked pasta as soon as it’s out of the strainer.

The classic pesto alla genovese (with basil and pinenuts) is often served with boiled potato slices – this is how I’ve done mine here.

What a treat!


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