Arugula-Basil-Kale Pesto Sauce with Thin Spaghettis
Here in the United State Kale is a familiar veggie, a hard one to sell perhaps, but well known all around. It is thought to be the vegetable of the moment and the healthiest vegetable in the world. So no need to ask you if you know of kale – if you live in the USA most likely you do.
But, why am I talking about kale when this posting is about the pesto sauce? When I first started experimenting with pesto sauce I started with the traditional version (basil and only basil) until one day I ran out of basil and I made a combination of spinach and basil. Then I combined basil and arugula and the more combinations I made the more I realized my appeal for my non-traditional combination pesto. I find the combination basil – other green leaves pesto version to be better or politically said, better for my taste. So how does kale come into the picture? It was until recently that I started juicing for breakfast and soon found out that kale is not only the new veggie leaves, but that kale is the new super vegetable; and a member of the cabbage family. It is tough and a little bit bitterer than the cabbage, similar in appearance to other dark greens such as chard and collard greens but with a wilder sort of green look and texture.
So now I use kales on everything; on morning green smoothies, in soups, sautés, pesto, on rice – why not? The many health benefits of kales are reason enough to eat it, but I won’t go into its benefits detail here. Please Google it. You won’t regret it and you will end up hooked just like me. Throw out your multivitamins and try kale because it is one of the healthiest vegetables around.
Let’s discuss why I put kale on my pesto? When you have a little niño around only eating pasta with butter then you have to trick him with some super vitamin, kale in the pesto is very clever and clandestine! Another reason is that I always end up buying too much of it. Putting it in a pesto sauce is the cleverest way of feeding a great super food to my family. As I said at the beginning of the post, kale like broccoli can be a hate love kind of vegetables. But this pesto is by all definitions yummy; with gluten free or regular pasta it is just delicious. Other food combinations can be an omelet, pizza, as a dip with bread or veggies, in a chicken sandwich, with chicken breast etc. Put it on everything and count it as one of your vegetable serving requirements. Just make plenty and keep it refrigerated. You will see how convenient it will become to your kitchen pantry.
I never put any nuts on my pesto due to allergies problems; feel free to add the traditional pine nuts or any other nuts of you like (always pre-toast your nuts to develop extra flavor). With or without nuts you will love this pesto, it is really good – I hope you take my words for it. Also, I always add the cheese once I mix the pesto with the pasta. (I find that many time the cheese breaks when the pesto is being cooked or warm up).
I understand that in certain Latin America countries kale may not be produced. In certain instances people do not even know about it (I have never seen kale in the Dominican Republic). In this case use other combinations of green such as spinach, arugula and basil.
Arugula-Basil-Kale Pesto sauce with thin spaghettis
Ingredients: (Green veggies ingredients in the USA come wrap in bunches)
1 bunch fresh market kale
2 bunches basil
1 bunch arugula
4 clove garlic
1 lemon or lime
Fresh grounded black pepper
Salt to taste
1 to 1 ½ cup olive oil
Fresh grated Parmesan or pecorino romano cheese
Procedure for the pesto:
Combine kale, basil, arugula, parsley, garlic, the lemon juice in a food processor or blender (if you don’t have a food processor is ok to use a blender just pulse it to obtain a more rustic texture- we do not want the texture to be like a smoothie). Add the oil little by little or as desire. Season it with salt and pepper.
If using immediately you can add the cheese now or as I do add the cheese once you have mixed the pesto with the pasta. The pesto can be refrigerated or freeze in a tight container to use later; just drizzle a little more of oil over the top. It will keep fresh in the refrigerator for about two weeks and in the in the freeze up to a few months. Do not add any cheese if you are freezing it, the cheese can be added after you have mixed it with the pasta or whichever ingredient of preference.
Mixing the pesto and pasta:
Boil your pasta (see guideline for cooking pasta).
Place a pot in the stove and add some olive oil. Add the pesto and cook for a minute or two. Add the hot pasta straight from the boiling pot into the pesto. Mix well and add the cheese and serve it with more cheese….yummy yummy! Enjoy!
The assemble and presentation:
Serve on pasta bowl and garnish with basil.
Keep it simple; salt and water is all you need when boiling pasta. Always use a big pot with plenty of water.
Add the salt when the water begins to boil and then add the pasta. This is a warning never add the pasta before the water is boiling otherwise your pasta will overcook; no to mention that it also change its appearance and flavor.
The length of time for cooking pasta depends on how al dente you like it, in this case follow the instructions in the box. I like it al dente…..how do you like your pasta? Do you like it al dente or completely tender?
‘Al dente’ literally means ‘to the tooth’. In culinary terms “al dente” means that the pasta and rice are cooked so they are still chewy and with a bite.
This post is also available in: Spanish