Nut-free Kale Pesto

We eat a lot of pasta. Or more accurately, I make a lot of pasta. Bean, Looly, and Roo eat a lot of pasta as long as it's coated in butter and Parmesan cheese or slathered in Rao's Marinara sauce, which by the way, you can order online by the case. Just saying.

I know I could make my own tomato based pasta sauce at home but really, what's the point? They want their Rao's. As far as jarred pasta sauces go, Rao's Marinara is hard to beat. I've got nothing against Rao, and certainly no bones to pick with butter, but seriously, pasta has been getting a little boring over here.

This week I decided to play on Bean and Roo's recent ardor for all things kale and created my own version of pesto. Given Roo's allergies, I opted for sunflower seeds instead of nuts and wasn't quite sure how they'd hold up against the kale, but the results were fabulous. I will be making this again and plan to experiment with other greens...spinach, chard, collards. Give it a try! 

Nut-Free Kale Pesto

2 cups raw, fresh kale leaves, thick stems removed, roughly chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend to perfection. Mix with warm pasta and a little pasta cooking liquid as needed. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan and more sunflower seeds.

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