The Pasqualina: Kalamata Olive Pesto with Kale and Sun-dried Tomatoes

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This recipe appeared in my mind like a flash. At the time I was looking at my mother so, naturally, I named the dish after her. I don’t really understand how this happened, but without trying to comprehend my spontaneous inspiration, I gathered the ingredients that were floating around in my mind and got to work.

I first put together the olive sauce. I removed the pits from 2 cups of kalamata olives, then blended all the ingredients in a food processor and taste-tested. Although I had rinsed the olives, they were still quite salty, so when I cooked the pasta, I didn’t add any salt to the water.

I heated some grapeseed oil, which is my preferred oil when cooking, and let the garlic turn golden, then added the kale for just a few minutes. I added the sun-dried tomatoes after that and turned off the heat. (I purchased sun-dried tomatoes without added salt or sulfites.)

The pasta I chose was a kamut and buckwheat noodle – absolutely delicious. Kamut and buckwheat are considered “gluten-free” by many since they have a more digestible form of gluten than whole wheat.

Once the pasta was cooked, I added it to the kale and sun-dried tomatoes. I topped each serving with some olive pesto.

Wow.

This is a seriously impressive dish to serve to your loved ones. I can see this pesto working as an appetizer on crackers or as a dip. I can also see it as a very thin layer of olive sauce on a vegan pizza with kale and sun-dried tomatoes.

Ahhh imagination is really boundless!

Kalamata Olive Pesto with Kale and Sundried Tomatoes

Ingredients:
Makes approximately 4-5 servings

Kalamata Pesto:
2 cups kalamata olives, rinsed and pitted
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chili flakes
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup nutritional yeast

Pasta with kale and sundried tomatoes:
230 grams (8 oz) pasta of your choice
4 cups kale, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
½ cup unsalted, sulfite-free, sundried tomatoes, chopped
½ teaspoon sea salt

Method:
1. To make the kalamata olive pesto, blend the olives, 1 garlic, olive oil, chili flakes, parsley and nutritional yeast in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy. Set aside
2. In a large pot, heat grapeseed oil and minced garlic for 2 minutes on medium heat.
3. Add chopped kale and sea salt and sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Mix in sundried tomatoes and turn off heat.
5. Cook pasta according to instructions on the box and drain.
6. Add pasta to the pot with kale and sundried tomatoes. Stir. Place into serving plates or bowls. Scoop up desired amount of olive pesto and place on top of the pasta. Serve immediately.

Food is the form of the soul, the Atman, for life consists of food. ~Maitri Upanishad

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