This is the kind of quick pasta supper that you can whip together in the time it takes for the pasta to cook. Kale and walnut pesto is a nice wintertime alternative to the more summery basil pesto and the slight nuttiness of the whole wheat pasta works well with it. If you want to add some protein, try leftover roast chicken or even a poached or fried egg.
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook as per the packet instructions, until it’s al dente. Before you drain it, reserve a mugful of the cooking water.
2. Meanwhile, cut the Parmesan cheese into a few chunks. Place in a food processor and whizz until it’s roughly grated. Tip the cheese into a bowl and set aside. Place the nuts in the food processor and pulse until they’re roughly chopped. Tip into the bowl with the cheese. Doing it this way makes a pesto with some texture to it, but if you like your pesto to be smoother, just blend the cheese, nuts and kale together all at the same time.
3. Place the kale in the food processor and whizz until it’s finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly pour in the oil until a thick sauce has formed (you might not need all the oil). Pour in the lemon juice and pulse again to combine. Remove the blade from the food processor and stir in the Parmesan, nuts and a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste the pesto and adjust the seasoning or add more lemon juice if you want a little more zing.
4. Place the drained pasta in a large serving bowl, then spoon over the pesto and toss to combine. If you want to thin the pesto out a little, add some of the reserved cooking water and toss again. Grate over a little more Parmesan to serve.
5. Spoon any leftover pesto into a clean jar, covered with a thin film of oil to keep it from turning brown, and store in the fridge for one or two weeks. This also freezes very well – try freezing the pesto in ice cube trays, then pop out the frozen cubes and store in a ziplock bag, which makes for handy portions.