Plan smartly and make pesto ahead of time so that when it comes time to cook, it’s really just about assembly. Add smoky flavour by tossing in a few grilled mushrooms. Use half the pesto to toss with noodles for dinner, then use up leftovers as a condiment with other meals.
2 large bunches kale
1 cup (250 mL) chopped sun-dried tomatoes (rehydrated if using dried)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup (250 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup (80 mL) grated Parmesan
1/3 cup (80 mL) toasted walnuts (optional)
3 large portobello mushrooms
1 tsp (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb (450 g) whole wheat penne, or your favourite pasta
For pesto, trim thick centre ribs from kale. Blanch leaves in large pot of boiling water. Drain, then rinse with cold water. Using hands, squeeze excess water from leaves, then coarsely chop. You should have about 4 cups (1 L) packed.
Place kale in food processor along with sun-dried tomatoes and garlic. Whirl to mix. With motor running, slowly and steadily whirl in oil to form a coarse purée. Stir in Parmesan and walnuts, if using. Mixture will be very thick. Pesto will keep well, refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months. Makes about 3 cups (750 mL).
When ready to cook, brush mushrooms with oil. Grill over medium-high heat or pan-fry over medium, turning often, until tender. Thinly slice into small pieces.
Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook, according to package directions, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup (60 mL) pasta cooking water.
Return noodles to pot, then stir in mushrooms and 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) pesto. Stir to coat. To make it saucier, stir in some of the pasta water, a little at a time, to loosen up pesto. Finish with extra grated Parmesan, if you wish.
Double duty: Spoon leftover Sun-Dried Tomato and Kale Pesto over scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast. Or stir into Tri-coloured Quinoa Chowder.
Serves 6 for dinner (with leftover sauce).
Each serving contains: 313 calories; 7 g protein; 3 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 28 g total carbohydrates (4 g sugars, 4 g fibre); 111 mg sodium
source: “Clever Camping Recipes“, alive #380, June 2014