This kale, spinach and basil pesto baked pasta is lean, green and healthy. It's the perfect pasta dish for spring and summer!
Course: Main Dishes
Author: Life Made Simple Team
1lbpenne or rigatoni (regular, whole wheat or gluten free)
1/4-1/3cupreserved pasta water
2cupsfresh basil leavespacked
1/2cuppistachios, pine nuts, walnuts or pecanstoasted
1/2cupextra-virgin olive oil + more if needed
salt and pepper
1/2cupgrated parmesan or pecorino cheese
1/3cupshaved parmesan or pecorino cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package's instructions.
Meanwhile, in a large food processor or blender, layer the ingredients starting with the spinach, kale, basil, then the garlic, toasted nuts, the olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and cheese. If the mixture is too thick to blend add a tablespoon or two more of olive oil. Continue to pulse/blend until smooth.
When the pasta is done cooking, drain the water, reserving ⅓ c. of the water. Mix it in with the prepared pesto until the sauce is loose.
Toss the cooked pasta with the pesto, then pour into a 9x13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with ⅓ c. cheese, then place into the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melty. Remove and serve immediately.
-Grilled chicken makes a great addition to this bake, you could also and halved cherry tomatoes or sundried tomatoes.