Tuscan Pesto-Dressed Penne with Crispy Kale with Garlic and Broiled Tomato Crostini

Total Time:
25 min
Prep:
10 min
Cook:
15 min

Yield:
s: 4 to 6 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 1 pound penne rigate or rigatoni rigate or other short cut shape
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 bundle Tuscan kale, stemmed and cut into large irregular shapes
  • EVOO
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves (about 50 leaves)
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (a generous handful)
  • 1/3 cup grated pecorino cheese
  • Broiled Tomato Crostini, for serving, recipe follows
  • Broiled Tomato Crostini:
  • 4 ripe plum tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • EVOO, for drizzling
  • Twelve 1/2-inch-thick slices multi-grain batard or other crusty, long, 3-inch-wide loaf
  • 2 cloves garlic, halved
Directions
EVOO
  • Place a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the broiler.

  • Cook the pasta in boiling salted water to al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Heads up: reserve a mugful or about 1 1/2 cups starchy cooking water just before draining.

  • Arrange the kale on a cooling rack over a baking sheet. Dress the kale lightly with EVOO and season with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg. Broil until crisp and charred at the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and reserve.

  • Toast the nuts in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant.

  • Place the herbs in food processor and add the nuts. Then grate in the garlic, season with salt and pepper, and add cheeses and 1/2 cup EVOO. Pulse into a thick pesto sauce and adjust the seasoning. Transfer to a large serving bowl.

  • Add 1 cup of the starchy water to the pesto. Toss the pasta and sauce to combine. If the pasta is dry, add the remaining 1/2 starchy water. Fold in half of the crispy kale and garnish with the remainder. Serve with Broiled Tomato Crostini.

Broiled Tomato Crostini:
  • Heat the broiler.

  • Arrange the tomatoes on a baking sheet and dress with the thyme, salt and pepper and drizzle with EVOO. Broil until charred at the edges, 10 minutes. Chop the tomatoes and reserve.

  • Just before serving, char the toasts on each side, rub with the cut garlic, drizzle with EVOO and top the toast with the chopped, broiled tomatoes.


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