Linguine with Kale Pesto

I’ve been making a mental list of things that I want to start doing when I move out into my own home. On this list there are projects and purchases, little gestures that I truly believe will make my life that bit more beautiful. I imagine becoming less reliant on supermarkets for our fruit and vegetables, instead taking the time each week to visit the local farmer’s market, butcher and fish monger. I see myself hand-selecting flowers and having an array of pretty vases to showcase them in. I picture making my own nut butters, almond milk and ice cream. There are other small things that I’d like to have too, like fresh orange juice daily, artisan bread (made by myself if I’m feeling particularly adventurous), interesting magazines and beautiful books for the coffee table and of course, pasta Sundays.

The latter is highest up on that list and probably the most likely to happen, no matter how much I fancy myself as a cross between Heidi Swanson and Rachel Ball.

I’m sure that traditionally pasta on a Sunday should be had with a slow-cooked meat sauce like ragù, but being a pasta fiend and predominately herbivorous a simple pesto is my go-to sauce for any celebration of carbohydrates. The kale adds an element of richness (and health benefit), but I couldn’t give up the basil altogether, however you can easily sub the basil and go all kale if that’s how you like to roll.

Linguine with Kale Pesto

Makes 400g pesto, serves 2


50g kale leaves, stems discarded

50g fresh basil leaves

2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped with salt

8 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons pine nuts

2 tablespoons walnut halves

60g fresh parmigiano reggiano, finely grated

40g fresh pecorino romano, finely grated

40g butter, room temperature

200g linguine



  1. To make the pesto, in a food processor add the kale and basil leaves, garlic, walnuts, pine nuts, olive oil and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper and blend.
  2. Add the grated cheese and softened butter and blend again until the pesto becomes creamy and smooth. Add an extra glug of olive oil for good measure.
  3. Cook the linguine according to packet instructions. When ready, drain and reserve a 1/4 cup of the pasta’s cooking water. Add 2 heaped tablespoons of the kale pesto to the hot pasta and add enough of the reserved water to loosen the sauce. Serve immediately.

Store the pesto covered with a little olive oil in the fridge. Keeps for up to 1 week.