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The greenest pasta (Pasta col pesto verdissimo)

Pasta is comfort food for me and I love a good bowl of pasta. however, the pasta has to be light, non-greasy and beautifully flavoured. This is one such pasta.

This dish is like a salad on my plate. The greens are cooked down and each adds their individual flavour to the dish, the bitterness from the kale, the sweet from lettuce and spinach and the herb from the parsley. Do not think of this as one of those green dishes that are boring, but a beautifully flavoured dish with nuances of subtle flavours. The pine nuts and zest add an extra dash of flavour to complete this dish.

I used kale, lettuce and spinach as they were easily available but you can use any green of your choice and also include green vegetables like broccoli and beans. The dish better with a larger variety of green vegetables.

This is a cookbook from Ronaldo Beramendi, of the famed Manicaretti Italian food importer, but also a master chef. This cookbook brings some truly authentic Italian cuisine, kept true to their core and not muddled with their import across the ocean. This is a great cookbook for those looking for wonderful no-fuss Italian food.

For more recipes from this cookbook, click here.


1 large leek, washed well and sliced into thin half moons

1 teaspoon salt

1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked

1 large bunch of kale. leaves and tender stems

2 bunches of greens of your choice, spinach, lettuce or arugula or a mix

10 cups water

1 cup pasta of your choice

2 tablespoons olive oil

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon pepper

Salt, to taste

1 cup water from the pasta

Zest of 1 lemon or lime

Parmesan cheese

Heat the water in a pot, add the leeks and salt, and boil. Simmer the broth closed for 10 minutes.

Add the parsley, kale, and tender stems, close the lid and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the greens and cook for 10 minutes.

Scoop out the greens and solids from the liquid broth saving the broth. Cool the greens and chop finely. Set aside.

Add the pasta to the green broth and cook as per the instructions on the package minus 1 minute for al dante.

While the pasta is cooking, add the oil to a large frying pan and sauté the onions until golden. Add the chopped greens, pepper and salt and continue to cook till the liquids are evaporated.

After the pasta has cooked drain saving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta to the frying pan with 1 cup of the cooking liquid and toss well to mix the pasta with the greens. Grate in the zest and mix well.

Serve immediately topped with pine nuts and grated or shaved Parmesan.

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