Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Paparadelle with Kale Pesto and Toasted Pine Nuts

Thanks to Pintrest, and, I've found a recipe for Kale that the Mr and I both like!  Seriously, we couldn't even tell we were eating Kale.  I've tried several other recipes and we just couldn't get on the bandwagon, but at least I have this recipe now!  I've been trying to cook with even more leafy greens besides spinach (that's my go-to leafy green), and I've been trying to eat more "verdes" since I've been pregnant so baby Lucy can soak up all those great health benefits.  Kale is "one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet" according to WebMD and provides:
  • 15% of daily recommendation of calcium and vitamin B6
  • 40% of daily recommendation of magnesium
  • 180% of daily recommendation of vitamin A
  • 200% of daily recommendation of vitamin C
  • 1,020% of daily recommendation of vitamin K.
  • Good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus
  • High concentration and excellent source of vitamins A, C and K.  Vitamin K is necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions, including normal blood clotting, antioxidant activity, and bone health.
  • Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits.
  • Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.
What You Need:
  • 1 bunch kale, washed and leaves torn
  • 1/4 C pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 C grated parmesan, plust more for serving
  • 1/2 C olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 package paparadelle, cooked al dente (you can use any pasta you want, but the pesto sticks to this pasta really well).
What You Do:
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Plunge kale leaves in water, then immediately drain and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain in colander, then lay on paper towels to extract as much water as possible.
  • Place in the bowl of a food processor with garlic, parmesan, and all but 2 Tbs of toasted pine nuts. Add a generous pinch of salt and pulse briefly to combine and chop. With machine running, drizzle in olive oil until you achieve a loose pesto-like consistency with some texture remaining.
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta to al dente, drain & reserve 1 cup of cooking water. Place pasta in a large bowl, add big spoonfuls of pest and some pasta cooking water to loosen it all up. Toss until noodles are coated with pesto, then serve in big warm bowls, topped with additional toasted pine nuts and grated parmesan.
Be healthy, happy, and eat your veggies!

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