Penne Pasta with Cauliflower and Kale Walnut Pesto – Surprisingly creamy, deliciously healthy
One of the greatest things about modern technology is that it allows people like me, who can’t stand being cooped up in a small space, to work pretty much anywhere. However, if you decide to turn your favorite coffee shop into your own little office, there are some simple rules to follow:
Rule #1: Loud phone conversations are not allowed. Under any circumstances. Sorry. You need to talk? Step outside. Or lower your voice to a level where no one can hear you, unless they’re sitting at the table with you.
Rule #2: Make sure you follow rule #1.
Pretty simple, don’t you think? Well, tell it to the guy that has a been on the phone FOR THE PAST TWO AND A HALF HOURS. For the love of coffee, how much can a person talk?! I feel like I’m on a date from hell that I didn’t even want to on to begin with!
Maybe I’m becoming too sensitive, I don’t know. But I find inconsiderate, thoughtless actions extremely irritating. Anyone with me??
Anyway, let’s move on to more pleasant things, shall we? Like, this big, comforting bowl of pasta smothered in vegan pesto sauce. Definitely not for the carb-a-phobs out there, but hey, a great way to get a hefty dose of veggies! Using cauliflower as a base, some kale and lots basil, this pesto sauce is so creamy and satisfying you won’t miss any of the cheese or oil. Add enough garlic and who knows, it might even keep those pesky loud people away …. 😉
- 1 1/2 lbs (24oz) cauliflower florets
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 1 lb organic whole wheat penne pasta
- 20–25 fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 cloves garlic (or to taste)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- Chopped parsley, lemon zest and grated cashews or vegan parm for garnish (optional)
- Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add cauliflower florets and cook for 10 minutes or until tender. Add kale to the boiling water in the last 30 seconds of cooking. Drain well
- In the meantime, start cooking the pasta according to the directions on the package, leaving it slightly al dente. Once the pasta is cooked, leave it in the water
- While the pasta cooks, combine cooked cauliflower, kale, basil, walnuts, nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon, olive oil and salt. Pulse until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Transfer to a large serving bowl. Using a slotted spoon, remove pasta from the water and add to the pesto sauce ( we do this rather than draining the pasta completely because we want some of the pasta water to mix with the pesto). Toss well so the pasta is well coated. Serve immediately, garnish with chopped parsley, lemon zest and cashews or vegan parm.
The sauce can be prepared ahead of time. Just make sure to serve it with warm, freshly made pasta