Kale Pesto Pasta with Ricotta and Chili

This pasta was born of necessity. I had two large bunches of kale that I forgot about in the crisper of my refrigerator, and a little bit of ricotta left from when I made strawberry tart. Then I realized that I had just bookmarked a recipe for kale pesto spaghetti. It was fate.

I usually don’t put lemon juice in my pesto but this recipe called for it. I had my doubts, but now, I’m a lemon pesto believer. The lemon juice adds a little zest and goes well with the kale.

The chili flakes give the spaghetti a kick and the ricotta balances the spicy, citrus flavors in the dish.

I used brown rice spaghetti noodles because I’ve been having a carb fest lately (see, Etto). But feel free to use any noodles of your choice.

In other news, I just got my Bad Bad Hats t-shirt in the mail and it came with a handwritten note from the band. My sister got a matching one and it also came with a note, but mine was longer. I joked with her that it’s because I needed a nice message more, but it’s probably random.

Here is a video for one of my favorite Bad Bad Hats songs. If I were personified in a music video, this would be it.

Kale Pesto Pasta with Ricotta and Chili (slightly tweaked from Heather Christo)


1 lb of spaghetti noodles (I used gluten-free brown rice noodles)

for the pesto:
4 cups raw curly kale, stems removed
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup pine nuts
juice of 1 lemon
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ cup of olive oil
kosher salt to taste

to top:
4 ounces fresh ricotta
olive oil
red pepper flakes


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Put the pasta in to boil and cook according to the box’s directions.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine all of the pesto ingredients and pulse until the pesto is smooth. Season to taste with kosher salt and extra lemon juice if needed.

When the pasta is ready, drain the water and toss the pasta with the pesto. Season to taste with kosher salt.

Top the pasta with dollops of the pasta and sprinkle with the red pepper flakes and a sprinkle of kosher salt. Drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately. Enjoy!

About Emily Wasserman

Bonjour! My name is Emily and I'm a writer based in St. Louis. I'm also a home baker with a small business, Amélie Bakery. I'm a self-proclaimed francophile and love French pastries and baking.
This entry was posted in Dinner, Gluten-Free, Uncategorized, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Kale Pesto Pasta with Ricotta and Chili

  1. Pingback: Kale Pesto Pasta with Ricotta and Chili | My Meals are on Wheels

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