- 1 bunch of dino kale (weight: 1/2 lb.), destemmed and loosely chopped
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/3 cup pistachios, unsalted and deshelled and unsalted
- 1 small lemon
- 1/3 cup Parmesan-Reggiano finely grated
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt
- 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
- Bring a heavily salted medium pot of water to a boil. Add the kale, being sure to submerge it in the water, and blanch for 2-4 minutes. Using a large slotted spoon (some other hand-strainer of some sort or even a tablespoon would work too), transfer the kale to a colander. Allow to cool slightly and then transfer to a bed of a few paper towels and dry thoroughly. (And hey! if you have one of those salad spinner things, by all means use it in place of the paper towel situation.)
- To a small saucepan, add the pistachios and toast over medium-low heat for 2 minutes, tossing the pistachios every 30 seconds or so to ensure an even toast.
- To the food processor, add the garlic and toasted pistachios; pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the blanched kale and juice from your lemon. Pulse again until the kale is broken up and nearly smooth. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides. Throw in the Parmesan-Reggiano and pinch of red pepper flakes. Pulse again and while the food processor is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Salt to taste (I added about 1/2 teaspoon, plus 2 pinches of salt).
- If you’re not going to use right away, transfer to a bowl, top with a teaspoon of olive oil and cover with plastic wrap. This will be good in the fridge for up to 3 days (maybe even 5 days, but you might be pushing it).
- Add the pasta to the salted boiling water (previously used for the kale) and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of pasta water. Add the drained pasta back to the pot and add a few tablespoons of pesto. Toss, adding a few splashes of pasta water until it reaches your desired consistency. Top with some shavings of Parmesan-Reggiano.
Yields 1 cup pesto