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September 29, 2014
Chef Vanessa’s Kale Pesto with Penne Pasta

Chef Vanessa's kale pesto is nut free, cost effective, and delicious! 


  • 1 cup of kale
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup of roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 8 ounces of dry pasta (cooked)


  1. In a food processor or blender, combine the kale and garlic and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the sunflower seeds and pulse until finely chopped. With the machine running, add the olive oil in a thin stream (slowly) and process until you get a smooth consistency. Pulse in the lemon zest and grated parmesan cheese. Finish the pesto with a pinch of salt and pepper to complete.
  2. Take the hot cooked pasta and place 1/2 cup of the pesto and stir to combine. Refrigerate or freeze any remaining pesto for another use.

Chef Tip: If freezing pesto, it is better to leave out the cheese as you run the risk of it becoming grainy if you use at a later date. If this is the case, make the recipe without the cheese and then add it to complete.

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