Kale and Ricotta Pasta
- 7 ounces spaghetti
- ¼ cup ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons minced parsley
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced, or more to taste
- 12 pecans, roughly chopped
- 1/2 pound kale, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rapid boil; add pasta. Boil, stirring a few times during the first few minutes to keep pasta from sticking, until al dente, about 10 minutes; drain.
- Mix ricotta cheese, parsley, and lemon zest together in a bowl; season with salt and pepper.
- Heat grapeseed oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté garlic in hot oil until fragrant, about 1 minute; add pecans and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until they smell toasted, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low. Stir kale into pecan-garlic mixture; drizzle olive oil over the mixture, and cook, stirring occasionally, until kale just begins to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Toss drained pasta with the kale mixture; add ricotta cheese mixture and stir to coat pasta.
- Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over pasta.
While spaghetti is the suggested pasta here, your favorite noodle will do. You can even go gluten-free with brown rice pasta. It will likely hold together best when cooked al dente. Try thinly sliced Swiss chard or spinach instead of kale. Top the dish with ribbons of basil for a fresh flavor. A nice crisp white wine, like Vinho Verde or Sauvignon Blanc, would go nicely with this dish.
What others are saying
Randall Hauk says:
By right of living in the Pacific Northwest, I'm required to eat a LOT of kale. I'm also meant to enjoy it every time. Not difficult here. Ricotta, garlic, and lemon can make just about anything pretty palatable, but the fact is that I DO like kale! Going to spiralize some zucchini and use it in place of the spaghetti next time.
Sam Dalton says:
After trying this dish I think I am forever in love with ricotta cheese sauce. The garlicky kale is also amazing. Perfect pasta dish, and pairs perfectly with whole wheat pasta.
Jeremy Hughes says:
I used brown rice pasta and skipped the pecans. The ricotta lemon cheese sauce was fanatic. I added a little lemon juice in addition to the lemon zest.
Anthony Cohen says:
Gluten free brown rice penne was the perfect substitution for this dish. I used walnuts instead of pecans, and added leftover shredded rotisserie chicken. Perfect weeknight meal.
Steven Gomes says:
Swapped kale for spinach and added extra ricotta. This dish was extra creamy and delicious. I also used walnuts instead of pecans.