Kale Pesto Bucatini


all units: U.S. Imperial

  • 1 bunch kale: lacing or curly
  • 2 tbsp Italian pine nuts
  • 1/3c grated parmigiano reggiano or pecorino cheese and more for topping
  • 1-2 anchovy filets
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 pinch chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp sea salt for pasta water, and a pinch extra for seasoning
  • 1/4 c olive oil, plus extra for cooking
  • Flaky sea salt & fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 package of bucatini or spaghetti

Boil a large pot of water, once boiling, add 1 tbsp of sea salt. Prepare an ice bath, a bowl of water with a few cubes of ice and set aside.

Devein the kale and quickly blanch the kale leaves in the boiling water (under 60 seconds) just until they turn bright green, remove the leaves with tongs, and dunk into the ice bath. Drain the ice water and place the kale leaves into a blender. Save the salted, boiling water and cook the pasta in the same water.

Peel and smash the garlic cloves. In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and brown the garlic cloves with the anchovy filets, smashing them together with the back of a spoon. Toss the garlic cloves, and anchovy paste from the pan into the blender, adding the remaining ingredients: cheese, nuts, chili flakes and pinch of flaky sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Blend on high until smooth.

Cook the pasta to al dente, and toss into the same skillet, reserving 1/2 of the starchy pasta water. Pour the pesto into the pan and ladle a bit of the starchy pasta water. Stir vigorously, with more finely grated cheese until the sauce, pasta water and cheese become incorporated and the noodles are coated. If the pasta is too al dente, turn the heat on low and add a bit more starchy water and let the liquid bubble and cook the pasta more.

Serve hot with more cheese, more chili flakes and a pinch of flaky sea salt.