Conchiglie Pasta with Kale-Walnut Pesto
Servings: 8 servings
- 1 24- oz box of small pasta. (I used whole-wheat conchiglie which are tiny, adorable, shell-shaped pasta)
- A small bunch of asparagus spears , tough ends removed, then cut lengthwise into 3/4-inch pieces (store the tough ends for vegetable stock).
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 8 large leaves of kale , tough stems removed
- 4 cloves garlic , smashed and chopped
- 1 cup walnuts , lightly toasted (this is easy to do in the microwave. Spread the walnuts in a plate and microwave on high for a minute. Toss them around, then microwave for another minute)
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 heaping tbsp white miso
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Juice of one large lemon
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Dunk in the kale leaves. Bring the water back to a boil and let the kale leaves cook for five minutes. Then, using a pair of tongs, fish out the kale leaves and set them aside. Bring the water to a boil again and add your pasta.
About five minutes before the pasta is cooked, add the chopped asparagus.
Meanwhile, assemble the pesto. Place the cooked kale, 1/2 cup of toasted walnuts, nutritional yeast, miso, garlic and olive oil in a food processor or blender.
Process into a paste. I processed mine pretty smooth this time, but you can leave it coarse if you like your pesto that way. The jewel-green color of this sauce has to be seen to be believed-- it's just gorgeous.
Mix the pesto, cooked pasta and asparagus, lemon juice, and remaining walnuts in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
Serve and enjoy!