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Kale and Pistachio Pesto Spaghetti

Kale adds a rich earthy note and brilliant green color to this hearty pesto. This makes about 1-1 1/2 cups pesto, which would also be good on fish, chicken, pork, or steak.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 35 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Inactive: 10 min
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Nutrition Info
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Kosher salt

1 large bunch kale, stemmed and leaves torn (about 1 pound)

10 ounces whole wheat spaghetti

2 tablespoons roasted salted pistachios

1 clove garlic, smashed

1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges, for serving

Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Add the kale to the boiling water and cook, stirring, until just wilted but still bright green, about 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the kale to the ice water (keep the water boiling). When cool, drain well and squeeze out as much water as possible. Coarsely chop the kale.
  2. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, and then drain the pasta.
  3. While the pasta cooks, pulse the pistachios and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the kale and parsley and pulse until very finely chopped. With the machine running, add the oil in a steady stream. Add the Parmesan, lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper and pulse to incorporate.
  4. Toss the pasta with the pesto, adding a few spoonfuls of the reserved cooking water if it seems dry. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.