Chris Makes Kale Pesto Pasta

Join Chris Morocco in the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen as he makes pasta with kale pesto. Substitute pine nuts for the walnuts if you’d like. To serve with pasta, stir in ½ cup pasta cooking liquid to the pesto until smooth and toss to coat, or serve as a topping for chicken.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large bunch Tuscan kale, ribs and stems removed
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 oz. farro pasta or whole wheat pasta
  • ⅓ cup raw pistachios
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 oz. Parmesan, finely grated, plus more for serving
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper

RECIPE PREPARATION

  • Cook kale leaves in a large pot of boiling salted water until bright green and wilted, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet with tongs; keep water boiling. Let kale cool slightly; wring out excess water with your hands.

  • Cook pasta in pot of boiling water, stirring occasionally, until al dente.

  • Blend nuts, oil, garlic, and ⅓ cup water in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Add kale and 1 oz. Parmesan. Purée, adding water 1 Tbsp. at a time as needed, until smooth. Transfer pesto to a large bowl.

  • Using tongs, transfer pasta to bowl with pesto; add butter and ⅓ cup pasta cooking liquid. Toss, adding more pasta cooking liquid by the tablespoonful if needed, until sauce coats pasta. Divide among bowls; top with more Parmesan and a few grinds of pepper.