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Monday, March 17, 2014

Caesar-Style Kale Pesto Pasta

kale pesto
Caesar-Style Kale Pesto Pasta
So, motherhood. I knew it was going to change my life. After all, isn't that the first thing everyone tells you when you say you're going to be a parent? "It'll change your life forever." And yes, our lives were rocked on February 2nd when Brecken entered our world. But whoa, I had no idea what kind of emotion was going to be stirred up when she came along.
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I once had someone tell me that becoming a parent was the closest we get to understanding the unconditional love that Christ has for us. Now that I'm there, I couldn't agree more. This little girl has completely captured my heart, not to mention her daddy's. Don't get me wrong, there have been trying moments...but honestly, just like the pain I witnessed in labor and delivery, they're fleeting and more of a fuzzy memory than anything else. 
pesto pasta

Suffice to say, I'm completely enthralled by our sweet daughter and am literally soaking up every moment I have with her. I sincerely hope this is a sentiment that sticks around for the long haul, even if it has introduced great changes into our lives. What does all this have to do with caesar-style kale pesto pasta? Not much, except that when you have options for easy meals like this, your time is freed to spend kissing babies (or whatever your equivalent is ;)). The pesto can be prepared ahead of time (even a day or two in advance) and just needs to be tossed with cooked pasta when you're ready to eat. 

Leftover pesto would be great on a pizza or as a sandwich spread!

One Year Ago: St. Patty's Meal Idea
Two Years Ago: Best Blueberry Muffins
Three Years Ago: Guinness Beef Stew and Cake Batter Pancakes
Four Years Ago: Irish Soda Bread and Lamb with Mint Yogurt Dipping Sauce

Caesar-Style Kale Pesto Pasta
from the Rachael Ray show

-1 whole head of garlic
-1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling on garlic
-salt and pepper
-1 lb spaghetti
-1 bunch kale, thick stems removed and discarded, leaves chopped into small pieces
-1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
-juice of 1 lemon
-1 tbsp Dijon mustard
-1 tsp anchovy paste (*optional)
-1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
-3 tbsp pine nuts, almonds, or walnuts, toasted

1. To make the pesto, preheat oven to 400F. Cut off the end of the garlic bulb to expose the tops of the cloves. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper and wrap in aluminum foil. Place in oven and roast for 45 minutes. Allow to cool and squish cloves out of their skins.
2. While garlic is roasting, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and kale and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain and squeeze kale to remove excess water. Add kale to the bowl of a food processor with roasted garlic, Parmesan, lemon juice, mustard, anchovy paste, and Worcestershire. Puree until combined. Add nuts and olive oil and puree until smooth. If not using immediately, transfer to a bowl and store, covered, in the fridge.
3. When ready to eat, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook spaghetti noodles until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water. Toss drained pasta with pesto and reserved pasta water (start with 1 cup, add more as needed), until kale pesto evenly coats pasta. Serve with additional Parmesan.