Pesto...so expensive, but so darn delicious. I don't know about ya'll but here in Alaska, basil (when you can find it in the store, seriously) is very spendy, and don't even get me started on the pine nuts. Not only does it take two hours to find them, but they also cost about two hours of my pay. It's a little nuts, heh heh a pun! Anywho, Todd and I are leaving for Ohio this week which means I not only have to use up the food in the fridge, but I'm also forbidden from purchasing any food items for fear they will spoil. This is a restriction I have placed upon myself. I cannot be trusted. Produce On Parade: Frugal Kale Pesto Pasta

Interestingly enough, all that my fridge offered up yesterday was kale...and broccoli. There was a block of tofu, too. That was honestly about it. Good shape for leaving, poor shape for making dinner. So I thought to myself, how about a kale pesto? That sounded good and doable enough, but I sure as hell wasn't buying any pine nuts. I decided to use what nuts I had stashed away. This happened to be pecans, walnuts and brazil nuts. I wasn't exactly sure how the combination would be pan out but I thought, "Meh, I'll try it out." Olive oil, nutritional yeast and garlic are staples that I always on hand so there was no problem there. I even had some really good, cheapo pasta from Costco and a few fresh basil leaves from my two little guys outside. Fancy that!

This pesto is so scrumptious who cares if it's not all proper like. Don't be mistaken though. This ain't no poor man's pesto. Nope, I can safely say I don't ever desire to make a proper pesto again.

A quick note: This pesto sauce recipe makes enough for 34 oz. of dry pasta. That's a lot of pasta, so go ahead and cut the pesto recipe in half, save half for later (which I did) or just use 34 oz. if you've got a boatload of people to feed.

Frugal Kale Pesto Pasta

Inspired by Culinary Adventures In The Kitchen

Makes 4 large servings (pesto sauce recipe makes 2 batches/8 large servings)

  • 1 bunch of kale, blanched
  • 1 small handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup mixed nuts, chopped and toasted (I used pecans, walnuts and brazil nuts. Feel free to use what you have on hand.)
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. walnut oil (or additional olive oil)
  • 3 generous pinches of pink Himalayan salt
  • sprinkling of ground black pepper
  • 17 oz. of dry pasta of choice (I used Penne)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Chop up those nuts! Once the temperature has been reached, arrange the nuts on a baking sheet and toast for 10-15 minutes or until fragrant. I beg of you; don't skip the toasting!

Bring a large pot of water to boil. De-stem and wash the kale. Once the water is boiling, submerge the kale in the water for about 3 minutes. Meanwhile get a large bowl and fill it with very cold water. Drain the kale and rinse with cold water, then submerge in bowl of very cold water. Let it sit until ready to use.

This pesto is so scrumptious who cares if it's not all proper like. This ain't no poor man's pesto though. Nope, I can safely say I don't ever desire to make a proper pesto again. Produce On Parade

Fill the large pot up with water again, this time for the pasta. While the water works to a boil, combine the kale, basil, toasted nuts and garlic in a food processor and process until smooth. Add in the yeast and lemon juice, processing again. Turn off and scrape down the sides. Turn back on and with the processor running, add in the oils. Blend until combined and then add the salt and pepper and process again until combined. Scrape down the sides as needed. Congrats, you just made an amazing and frugal pesto! Times are tough but that doesn't mean we can't eat well.

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Produce On Parade: Frugal Kale Pesto Pasta

Now that the water is boiling, add in the pasta and cook according to the package. This isn't rocket science. Drain the pasta and in a large pot or bowl combine half the recipe of the pesto and all the pasta. Freeze the remaining pesto for later or store in the fridge for a few days until ready to use.

Produce On Parade: Frugal Kale Pesto Pasta

Serve hot with a sprinkling of nutritional yeast. Now that's some good pesto. Enjoy!

Frugal Kale Pesto Pasta
Recipe Type: Entree
Author: Katie - Produce On Parade
Serves: 4-6
Too broke to buy pine nuts and 5 lbs of fresh basil? Never fear, make this Frugal Kale Pesto Pasta instead! I'll never go back!
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of kale, blanched
  • 1 small handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup mixed nuts, chopped and toasted (I used pecans, walnuts and brazil nuts. Feel free to use what you have on hand.)
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. walnut oil (or additional olive oil)
  • 3 generous pinches of pink Himalayan salt
  • sprinkling of ground black pepper
  • 17 oz. of dry pasta of choice (I used Penne)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and toast chopped nuts for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Blanch kale.
  3. Boil water for pasta.
  4. While the water works to a boil, combine the kale, basil, toasted nuts and garlic in a food processor and process until smooth. Add in the yeast and lemon juice, processing again.
  5. With the processor running, add in the oils and salt and pepper.
  6. Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to the package.
  7. Drain the pasta and in a large pot or bowl combine half the recipe of the pesto and all the pasta.
  8. Freeze the remaining pesto for later or store in the fridge for a few days until ready to use.
  9. Serve hot with a sprinkling of nutritional yeast. Now that's some good pesto.