Pesto sauce is such an Italian staple. It was a favorite of my Nana Lulu’s and I love playing with different iterations of it. There is a misconception I think that pesto sauce has to be basil based when that is totally not the case. Pesto just means paste, and it can be a thick, paste consistency sauce made with any combination of greens, herbs, nuts, and cheese. So I made a really simple version of winter kale pesto to take advantage of the more seasonal ingredients (though I can’t wait for basil to come into season again). It came together really quickly too which I loved!
That was all there was to this incredible, satisfying and quick meal! It just warmed my soul but wasn’t heavy at all. My Nana would have been proud I think. I hope you all love it too! xoxo
This is such a wonderful winter kale pesto made more substantial with white beans, served over tender cheese tortellini. Perfect for a vegetarian dinner!
- 3 cups kale leaves packed
- 1 can white beans drained, 15 ounces
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 4 cloves roasted garlic *see note for making this ahead
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil plus additional for a drizzle at the end.
- 1 package fresh cheese tortellini 20 ounces
First, get a pot of water on the stove to boil. White it comes to a boil, get out a food processor and combine the kale, white beans, pecans, roasted garlic, parmesan, salt and pepper in the bowl. Run it until it becomes pasty. Then keep it running while you slowly pour in the olive oil until you have a lovely sauce. The water should be boiling at this point. Salt it generously, then cook the tortellini until tender for about 2 minutes. Reserve a 1/4 cup of the cooking water, then drain the tortellini. Toss the tortellini and pesto together, then pour in the water and an extra drizzle of olive oil and stir them in to loosen everything up. Serve immediately with extra parmesan on top! Enjoy!!
*To roast garlic, cut the top off to reveal the tops of the cloves. Drizzle the top with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, then wrap it in foil. Roast it in a 350 oven for an hour, then refrigerate it and use it as needed! It keeps for a long time.