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4-Ingredient Dairy-Free Kale Pesto Tagliatelle

If you’re having a craving for pesto, try our new recipe for 4-Ingredient Kale Pesto Tagliatelle, a seasonal winter pesto with no added dairy. It’s so easy to make, using fresh kale, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and sea salt. That’s all you’ll need! By utilizing the pasta cooking water to achieve the perfect texture, you’ll add just 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil for one batch of pesto! 


We prefer to use Lacinato Kale, also known as Dinosaur, but all large leaf types of kale will do. We do not recommend using baby kale, because you’ll end up with too many stems in the pesto. You’ll blanche the kale in a large pot of water, where you will also cook the pasta, then add ¼ cup of the pasta cooking water to the blender or food processor to get the pesto to the perfect texture. This recipe will make enough for 2 to 3 pasta meals for four people, depending on how much pesto you like on your pasta. You can easily make this dish complete by adding a protein. We love the flavor of grilled salmon, chicken or jovial cannellini beans with kale pesto.


4-Ingredient Kale Pesto Tagliatelle



  1. Bring 4 quarts of water in a large stockpot to a rolling boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water, or to taste. Drop in the kale and cook for 3 minutes to soften the leaves.
  2. Lift the kale out of the pot with a slotted spoon and place in a colander to cool.
  3. Add the pasta to the kale cooking water and cook according to instructions.
  4. While the pasta is cooking, add the olive oil, garlic, and salt to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add the kale and pulse to chop as finely as you can.
  5. Remove ¼ cup of pasta cooking water and add it to the blender. Process until the pesto is fine, adding 1 tablespoon of cooking water at a time, only if needed.
  6. Drain pasta, toss with enough pesto to cover the pasta, and serve.
  7. Store remaining pesto in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Of course, you can add nuts and grated cheese to the pesto, if you like. For this amount of pesto, you would add 1 tablespoon of pine nuts or 2 tablespoons of walnuts, plus ½ cup of grated Pecorino Romano cheese.


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