Kale Walnut Pesto & Blistered Tomato Pasta
Kale walnut pesto & blistered tomato pasta – a twist on the traditional pesto with lots of added kale and walnuts. Topped with blistered tomato and parmesan cheese. A fast, healthy and delicious vegetarian pasta dinner.
Our DVR is heavily skewed with shows that I watch.
It’s about 90% girl shows. So many Bravo TV shows, especially all the Real Housewives. What can I say, I love my trashy reality shows.
The funny part is Shawn watches all of them with me. He’ll act like he’s not paying attention as he’s on the computer or checkin his phone. But when an argument breaks out he’s all eyes on the TV. He’d never admit it, but I think he secretly likes watching them too.
He has 1 show on the DVR that is solely a boy show. Deadliest Catch. Oh my, is he obsessed with Deadliest Catch.
If you’ve never seen it, it’s a show that follows all these guys on crab fishing boats in Alaska. They are cooped on the boat for weeks, working in freezing conditions, doing the toughest manual labor on the choppy waters. When I watch it, I think I would rather go to prison than have to work on this boat.
But not Shawn. It’s his *dream* job. He’ll watch it wide eyed, constantly saying, “I could do this. I would be SO good at this Nat!”
He must be nuts. He couldn’t work on that boat.
He’d miss fresh dinners too much!
If you’re looking for a fresh tasting dinner, look no further than this kale walnut pesto & blistered tomato pasta. It tastes like it’s straight from the garden. Which it just so happens to be! Well, sadly not the tomatoes. Our tomato plants don’t have any ripe tomatoes yet. But the kale and basil is straight from our garden.
We have an insane amount of kale in our garden right now. It’s so big and bountiful, I can’t cook it up fast enough. I was trying to think of ways to use it up, and a fresh kale pesto came to mind. I love the addition of kale to the pesto. It gives it a deep and earthy flavor, and balances out with the sweetness of the basil perfectly. You could use all kale in the pesto, but I still wanted a little sweetness so I did half kale half basil.
Pine nuts are so expensive, I tend to use walnuts in my pesto instead. I like the flavor even better. Smooth and nutty, and much more affordable.
The real star of this kale walnut pesto pasta are the blistered tomatoes. You just roast them with some olive oil, salt and pepper in the oven for about 15 minutes, just until they’re starting to burst. Delicious! Heating them thru intensifies the sweet tomato flavor.
This kale walnut pesto & blistered tomato pasta is the perfect vegetarian summer pasta dish. It is ready in less than 10 minutes. I kept this simple with just tomatoes, but this would be delicious with some chicken or italian sausage thrown in.
Kale Walnut Pesto & Blistered Tomato Pasta
Kale Walnut Pesto
- 6-8 kale leaves, stems removed
- 10 basil leaves
- 1/4 cup raw walnuts
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 pound pasta, I used spaghetti, but any pasta will do
- parmesan for garnish
Kale Walnut Pesto
- In a food processor, combine all the pesto ingredients except the olive oil. Pulse 5-7 times until all the ingredients are coursely chopped. Then, with the food processor running, drizzle in the olive oil until combined.
- Set aside. Pesto will keep in an airtight container refrigerated for 2 weeks.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a parchment lined baking sheet, toss the grape tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to blister. Remove from oven, set aside.
- In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta according to manufacturers instructions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta. Top with desired amount of pesto and toss to combine. Stir in some of the pasta water to thin the sauce and make it nice and silky, start with 1/4 cup and add more if desired. Add in blistered tomatoes and any tomato juice on the roasting pan, toss to combine. Serve warm, top with more parmesan cheese.
- Any leftovers will keep in an air tight container refrigerated for 1 week.
More Pasta Recipes
Creamy Mushroom & Bell Pepper Pasta
37 Comments on “Kale Walnut Pesto & Blistered Tomato Pasta”
This pesto pasta looks divine. Pasta is my all-time-favorite-food. I wish I had a plate of this pasta in front of me right now! I love your photo with all the ingredients in the food processor bowl ready to mix – YUM. I’m loving kale (like everyone at the moment) so this recipe looks perfect. I’m going to make it really soon.
Thanks Winnie! You’re so sweet! Is there anything better than pasta?
Thank for the recipe! It tasted amazing :)
I did though make a few changes. Was out of walnuts so landed up using almonds. No cheese as I am lactose intolerant.
Looking forward to try a few more of your recipes.
I tried the Kale Pasta Dish instead of the basil leaves I used basil pesto. A couple Tbsp. Also found a tip to freeze the kale after removing stems to make it easier to blend in the blender. I didn’t want to drag out my food processor. I made chicken feta brats/ sausage on the side. Excellent dish! I’m in love with kale now.
So glad you liked them! And great tip about freezing the kale after removing the stems. Then it will last and last!
Oh my gosh.. so many things running through my mind right now. 1) I love Bravo. I want to force Andy to be my bestie. I am a sucker for all things housewives #Can’tGetEnough 2) I loooove deadliest catch, but I don’t (ever) want to work on their boat!! However, they should totally send me part of their catch! 3) I’m totally jelly you have an abundance of fresh kale!
I adore how original your Pesto is- kale and walnuts? Yes please!!! I will normally spring for the pine nuts (I know, sooo expensive!) So I love your substitution of walnuts! ♡genius! The blistered tomatoes just put this pasta right over the edge into “I’ll have five bowls and not bat an eyelash” territory! Love it! Pinned!
LOL – Shawn secretly watching…. hehe. Rob just rolls his eyes and goes to bed when I have the Bachelorette on. I’ve never watched RH, but I’ve seen DC…. those guys do some dangerous work for sure. This recipe, Natalie. I have everything but the kale and tomatoes… and I’ve not made kale pesto before but neeeed to ASAP. I need to go to the farm to get the veggies to make this. I’m totally craving pasta now. (Your photography is just beautiful – so inspired!) Thank you for this!
Nick watches all my girl shows with me too. I don’t think he records any of his own shows. i take that back, he likes Shark Tank.
This pasta looks amazing Natalie! I love that you used kale in the pesto! Pinned!
This pasta looks fantastic Natalie! You’re making me crave a bowl – like I want one right now. ;) Love the use of kale in the pesto. Whenever I have an abundance of greens I always make a pesto! Oh, and Kyle watches The Deadliest Catch sometimes and I generally go in another room because I can’t watch it haha. It’s probably one of the last jobs I’d ever want to do!
Natalie! I am drooling so hard over this right now. This is definitely going on my list!
I was cracking up about Shawn watching your TV shows with you – Seth is the same way. I love The Bachelorette, and Seth will get so into it but, like Shawn, would never admit that he actually enjoys it a little bit ;).
I ADORE blistered tomatoes. Especially over salmon!
This is my kind of pasta dish, Natalie! I love a great pesto, and those blistered tomatoes look amazing! Pinned.
This looks just perfect! So garden fresh! I love a good pesto recipe.
I have a TON of kale in my garden too and I really need go get out there today and pick it! After that I think I’ll plan to make this GORGEOUS pasta for dinner and not share with anyone. ;) LOL. Seriously though, I’m LOVING that green and all those gorgeous blistered tomatoes!
Haha, how I miss TV! We have one show that we watch religiously and I always wish I’d get into more because it’s the one thing I will clear the blog and kiddo schedule for. Such a nice destresser! Lol. This is the perfect summer pasta dish!
You got to push it-this eseiatsnl info that is!
It looks like great minds thought alike today :) Your pesto looks great- I’ll have to try with walnuts next time, and kale when it comes back in season. Jon is obsessed with all the gold digging shows and is convinced he is going to be out on those rigs one day searching for gold. Sounds like Shawn! I guess we can just let them dream while we watch trashy TV ;)
This pasta is gorgeous, Natalie! I love that you added all your fresh garden kale to the pesto and I prefer the walnuts instead too! Those blistering tomatoes looks so juicy and mouthwatering – I wish I was having this for dinner tonight! Seriously delicious dish!
Pesto is my weakness! I feel like I eat it several times a month because I just can’t get enough of it. But believe it or not, I’ve never made my own before! This pasta looks amazing, Natalie! Such a great idea to use kale. And I’m loving those tomatoes, too! Sounds delicious!