There are two reasons why I love this sauce: 1) It is not your typical basil pesto sauce, 2) the fresh flavor of lemon cuts through the bitterness of kale and bring the dish up to another level. Getting the benefits of kale is a big plus.
Kale is loaded with phytonutrients, also known as, antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and stimulate cell renewal. It is loaded with vitamins A, C and has the highest content of vitamin K out of all the green leafy greens and contains more calcium and protein than spinach. It is nutrient dense, making it a winning vegetable. Kale talks to your DNA and tells it to sing the sweet, slow song of health and happiness.
Give it a try, and even if you’ve never tried kale before, this is a nice introduction to the new king of cruciferous, or at least it makes broccoli run for his money for that title.
To counteract the bitterness, I added a bit of lemon juice and zest and it gives the sauce a fresh and light taste. You can experiment as to how much lemon you want to add.
YOU WILL NEED…
– 1-2 italian sausage (optional)
– 1/2 cup red bell pepper
– 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes
– fusilli pasta (pick your preference, I usually go with whole wheat)
FOR THE SAUCE…
– 1/2 bunch of kale (blanched)
– a few basil leaves
– a handful of almonds soaked in water at least an hour
– 1 clove of garlic
– olive oil
– 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
– lemon juice and zest (to taste)
– salt and pepper to taste
I usually make this with veggies only, but the last few times I’ve had it with sausage. you can also add cubed grilled chicken, ground meat, etc.
Cook the pasta according to the packaging instructions and your preference.
Sautee the sausage with a little bit of olive oil, when cooked, add the diced veggies. Set aside when done.
In a blender, put the blanched kale, basically, the kale took a little dip in the hot tub (hot water bath followed by icy water) to retain its nutrients and maintain the bright green color. Add the rest of the ingredients.
For the almonds, it’s optional to keep the peel, which can be easily removed once they are soaked. The lemon juice should be added slowly and as much, or little, as you like it. I like mine lemony, so I’m not too shy with it.
Once blended, add it to the sausage and veggie mix. Add the warm drained pasta over and mix gently, making sure its all well incorporated.
Top with shavings of parmesan cheese.