Winter Pesto Farfalle with Sausage is packed with SuperFoods and is table ready in 30 minutes.
Winter pesto? I know.. it sounds like the most crazy thing.
It most definitely was not the plan.
I was envisioning the creation of a nice basil pesto, tossing it with some chicken wings annnnd.. PRESTO, healthy Super Bowl spread option. Sounds delicious right? Yeah.. I thought so too.
And then… No basil. No chicken wings. Grocery Store FAIL.
For those of you who have never had the pleasure of grocery shopping with small children, let me enlighten you… it’s
unpleasant excruciating. Seriously.. who is the inventor of the “race-cart?” You know, the giant double wide monstrosity that takes the strength of 5 full grown men to push in an actual straight line. If by some miracle you have the strength of The Hulk AND children that are actually willing to keep their arms, legs, and heads “in the vehicle” there is still the remaining issue of not 1, but 2 working horns. Excruciating.
WOW..who knew I had such deep seeded issues with grocery carts?
Focus .. Food Blog.
No basil. No chicken. NO WAY I was going to a second grocery store. And so my friends, Winter (as in NOT made with basil because you CANNOT find it and if you do it costs $1,00,000) Pesto Farfalle with Sausage (because HOW IN THE WORLD DOES A GROCERY STORE RUN OUT OF CHICKEN?) came into existence.
Ok.. rant over, because… Winter Pesto Farfalle with Sausage is absolutely DELIGHTFUL.
The star of this recipe is definitely unexpected.. Kale.
Yep.. I said it. As if making pesto without basil wasn’t enough.. I replaced it with a cliche superfood. WHHAAA?? Is anybody even still reading?
Trust me, nobody was less enamored with the idea of kale pesto than me. 30 minutes in the kitchen preparing a sub par meal that nobody was going to eat because KALE ? ..
You guys.. they ate it. Every. Last. Bite. I can’t say no whining, because I like to keep it real.. and let’s face it, pesto is REALLY REALLY green (which freaks kids out).
This creamy concoction of Pecorino Romano, pine nuts (or walnuts because maybe you think $800 is too much to spend on nuts), olive oil, garlic, cilantro, parsley, kale and a squeeze of lemon juice will not disappoint. Toss the pesto with some whole wheat pasta and top with a golden medallions of crispy Italian sausage and it’s seriously delicious (and not in a .. it’s not so bad considering the grocery store was out of basil type way).
Bottom line, make this winter pesto and then.. put it on all the things that you adore. You’re welcome.
Time Saving Tips and Tricks:
Prep: You can make the pesto ahead of time. Just store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator with a tiny bit of olive oil drizzled over the top. You could also have the noodles pre-cooked and ready to go. Store them in the fridge in an airtight container. When you are ready to use them, drizzle them with a bit of warm water or chicken broth and warm over medium-low heat on the stove.
Make Ahead: This dish dries out a bit after being refrigerated. If you do want to eat the leftovers (and you should) just add a little bit of olive oil or chicken stock, stir, and then heat.
Freezer: Pesto is ideal for the freezer. You can use ice trays to freeze it in individual portions or just store it in a freezer safe mason jar. Just top the pesto with a bit of olive oil to keep it from oxidizing (turning ugly brown), place a piece of plastic wrap over the surface, and screw on the lid.
- 8 oz. whole wheat farfalle pasta
- 1 lb. Italian chicken sausage
- 2 cups of kale, roughly chopped
- 1 cup parsley, roughly chopped
- 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- ½ cup pine nuts, toasted (you can sub walnuts)
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 lemon, juiced
- ⅓ cup of pecorino romano, grated (you can sub parmesan)
- ½ cup of olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 TBS butter
- Heat oven to 425 and line a small baking dish with parchment paper. Place sausage on baking dish. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until sausage is golden brown. Slice sausage into ½ thick medallions and set aside.
- Prepare farfalle according to package directions, set aside.
- In a food processor, combine kale, parsley, cilantro, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, and pecorino cheese. Pulse until mixture has the consistency of bread crumbs. With processor running, drizzle in olive oil. Scrape sides of processor as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. When butter is liquified add the prepared farfalle and toss to coat. Mix in winter pesto and prepared sausage. Top with additional pecorino cheese if desired. Serve immediately.
- I used Curly Kale for this recipe. I think that using baby or dino kale would be equally delightful. You could also try arugula or swiss chard (other greens that are plentiful during the Winter months).
- I used Italian sausage, but you could use whatever variety you like.
- Pine nuts give pesto a creamy, buttery type vibe…buuuut they are expensive. I usually sub half walnuts to cut down on the cost.
- For a low-carb option, toss the pesto with noodles instead of noodles!
- Vegan or vegetarian? Just skip on the sausage and use olive oil instead of butter. You won’t even miss the meat!
Let’s Be Friends:
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Other Things You can put Winter Pesto on!!!:
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