In this innovative spin on a classic, we’ve swapped out traditional basil for hearty kale, transforming the dish into a nutrient-dense powerhouse. The use of kale, a superfood loaded with vitamins and fiber, makes our pesto not just flavorful but also incredibly healthy. The green goodness of kale pairs fantastically with the robust, nutty Parmesan cheese and provides a vibrant color that’ll make your dish pop visually.
The pesto sauce’s complex flavor profile doesn’t end there, though. We’ve added half a cup of walnuts, which not only lends a lovely crunch but also a rich, buttery flavor that complements the kale beautifully. The addition of garlic adds depth, creating a pesto that is both aromatic and full-bodied.
The seasoning, featuring salt, black pepper, and fresh lemon juice, is simple but effective. The tartness of the lemon juice cuts through the richness of the cheese and nuts, balancing the pesto perfectly. This combination ensures that every bite of the pasta is a harmonious melody of flavors.
What truly sets our pesto apart, however, is the blend of extra-virgin olive oil and heavy cream. The olive oil provides a fruity note and a beautiful silky texture, while the heavy cream adds a touch of luxurious richness that takes our pesto to a whole new level.
The hero that brings this all together is, of course, rigatoni pasta. Its ridges and hollow centers are perfect for capturing and holding the thick, creamy pesto, ensuring that every mouthful is packed with flavor. Plus, the al dente texture of rigatoni offers a delightful contrast to the smooth, creamy pesto.
Last but not least, we have the fresh, juicy grape tomatoes. These little gems, halved and tossed in with the pasta, add a burst of sweet and slightly tangy flavor that perfectly balances the rich pesto. Plus, they contribute a delightful pop of color and an extra layer of texture to the dish.
To top it all off, a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese adorns each serving, adding a final note of nuttiness and an extra layer of indulgence.
Find more recipes like this at the American Diabetes Association Food Hub!
Kale-Parmesan Pesto Rigatoni
In this innovative spin on a classic, we’ve swapped out traditional basil for hearty kale, transforming the dish into a nutrient-dense powerhouse. The use of kale, a superfood loaded with vitamins and fiber, makes our pesto not just flavorful but also incredibly healthy.
- Place the kale, walnuts, garlic, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth, pouring the olive into the bowl in a steady stream. Use a spatula to push down the sides of the pesto and continue blending until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Toss cooked pasta with halved tomatoes and garnish with Parmesan cheese if desired.