Kale and hazelnut pesto sauce

Kale and hazelnut pesto sauce

An excellent, fast, and healthy idea for pasta: this kale and hazelnut pesto sauce. It will surprise you for how quick the preparation is, and the incredibly special flavor you will bring to the table. Ideal to surprise your guests as they have probably never tasted this.

The perfect kale to use is black tuscan kale, also knows as lacinato or dinosaur kale. It marries wonderfully with Parmesan or Pecorino cheese. Likewise, you can also use all types of curly kale.

I used it to season some delicious spaghetti (any other shape of pasta works well). But this kale pesto is also excellent on a pizza, a focaccia, or even for a creamy risotto!

How to make pesto sauce with kale and hazelnut, the step by step process:

Kale and hazelnut pesto sauce

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Course: MainCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • 1/4 cup roasted hazelnuts

  • 4 cups chopped Tuscan kale leaves

  • 1/4 Parmesan or Pecorino cheese

  • 2 tbsp extravirgin olive oil

  • 1 clove garlic (optional)

  • chili pepper (optional)

  • pasta of your choice

  • 10 tbsp hot water

How to

  • Remove the middle stems and cut kale leaves into 1 1/2-inch pieces.
  • Combine 2 tbsp of oil, garlic, and chili pepper in a large saute pan; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for few minutes. Add the cabbage, let it gently roast for a few minutes, then cover with ½ cup of hot water. Salt and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • At this point, drain the remaining water, remove garlic and put the black cabbage in a blender.
  • Add ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil, the hazelnuts, the Parmesan cheese in small blocks. Blend until smooth.
  • Cook your pasta of choice in salted boiling water, then remove 1 cup of cooking water and set aside.
  • Drain pasta, toss in the sauce and add a few tbsp of cooking water if needed to make it creamier.

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Looking for other ideas for a pasta sauce? You can try these recipes from the blog:

  • a quick but flavorful seafood pasta with canned mackerel: CLICK HERE for the recipe
  • a slow cooking, very rich Italian Bolognese sauce: the recipe is HERE

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