Quick Orecchiette Pasta with Kale Pesto

Browsing through my blog recipes, I’ve just realised I posted only one pasta recipe. It’s not really a surprise, because pasta is not a regular fixture in my healthy kitchen routine, but it’s not completely missing either. While I usually consume whole wheat or buckwheat pasta varieties, I like to indulge in a specialty pasta, particularly in summer when fresh seasonal produce is widely available, and I can reproduce the taste of the dishes I indulge in during our trips to Italy.

These lovely orrechiette (meaning little ears) were the choice for my summer pasta. They are perfect for combining with vegetable sauces or pesto because they perfectly absorb the liquid and flavors.

That huge bunch of kale I picked from the farmers’ market early in the morning was too much for a salad.

We were to leave for Cyprus in a couple of days (yay!), and we didn’t have time to consume that much kale. In addition, things were getting really tidy with everything we have to arrange and finish before leaving, and I needed to cook easy and satiating meals that are ready in no time.

I don’t like to waste food, so the best idea popped-out from Food52. Pesto is a great way to use a larger quantity of green leaves without the need to consume them right away. If you add it into a jar with a layer of olive oil on top, it will last for at least one week in the refrigerator, so it means that I will have something to cook with when I return from my holiday and the fridge is empty.

If I can preserve the freshness of the ingredients, I will do it rather than cooking, so I made my pesto using fresh kale. Its exceptional health benefits still fascinate me, especially its detoxifying properties, so I try to keep its nutritional profile intact without destroying some of the nutrients while cooking the leaves.

And just a quick note to let you know that Saveur Blog Awards nominations are now open! There are so many talented food bloggers out there, and I’ve already voted my favorites! If you like my blog I will be so, so happy if you would take a minute to nominate it, for “Food Obsessive Award” category (blogs that speak to a niche audience) or “Best Photography”. You can vote here, as many times as you want, until July 18th. Thank you, dear friends!

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Quick Orecchiette Pasta with Kale Pesto

Easy and ready in minutes, this simple orrechiette pasta comes with a rich fresh herbs and kale pesto, making a delicious summer dish.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: Vegan
Servings: 2
Author: The Awesome Green


  • 1 bunch fresh kale roughly chopped (I used curly kale, but it works perfectly with Tuscan kale too)
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil
  • 2 fresh sage leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/2 lemon juice only
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 box 2 cups orrechiette pasta
  • To garnish: toasted pine nuts red chili flakes, fresh lemon juice


  • Add the fresh greens, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil into the food processor and pulse a few times to obtain a mash.
  • Add Dijon, chili flakes, salt and pine nuts, and pulse a few more times to incorporate.
  • Transfer the mixture into a lidded jar. (pour a layer extra virgin olive oil on top of the pesto to keep longer in the refrigerator).
  • Cook the orrechiette according to the instructions.
  • Transfer into a large bowl, add 3 tbsp of the fresh pesto, mix to combine.
  • Divide into serving bowls, garnish with toasted pine nuts and red chili flakes, drizzle with fresh lemon juice and olive oil and serve warm.






  • valentina | sweet kabocha
    July 7, 2016

    I LOVE this! I love making fresh pasta at home, especially south shapes – like orecchiette!

    • Ana
      July 8, 2016

      I was really lazy with this meal and made it with orrechiette from the supermarket, but yes, making fresh pasta at home is a kind of meditation 🙂

  • Claudia | The Brick Kitchen
    July 10, 2016

    Pesto pasta is my favourite! I love how you added chilli flakes and sage to yours rather than just a regular kale pesto. Gorgeous photos too – I especially like the one of you holding the bowl of pasta – ultimate comfort food!

    • Ana
      July 12, 2016

      Thank you Claudia, the sage addition really twisted things in a delicious way 🙂 Happy to find your blog and beautiful photos <3

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