Lemony Kale Rigatoni Pasta

This vegan, oil-free Italian recipe pairs dark kale with creamy white beans and crunchy pistachios.  Whole wheat rigatoni works great to hold the lemony white wine sauce, but you can also use brown rice pasta shells for a gluten-free version.

MEDIUM          Servings: 4       Ready In: 15 minutes

Lemony Kale Rigatoni Pasta - Healthy, Plant-Based, Vegan, Oil-Free, Whole Grain, Dairy-Free, Italian Dinner Entree Recipe

Lemony Kale Rigatoni Pasta - Healthy, Plant-Based, Vegan, Oil-Free, Whole Grain, Dairy-Free, Italian Dinner Entree Recipe

Chef's Tip: Cashew butter replaces dairy for a rich, creamy sauce.  A dash of red chili adds a spicy kick of flavor

Chef's Tip: Cashew butter replaces dairy for a rich, creamy sauce.  A dash of red chili adds a spicy kick of flavor

Chef's Plant-Based Dairy-Free Tip: Nutritional Yeast adds richness and deep umami flavor, replaces dairy cheese in this creamy sauce

Chef's Plant-Based Dairy-Free Tip: Nutritional Yeast adds richness and deep umami flavor, replaces dairy cheese in this creamy sauce

Chef's Tip: Add some of the pasta cooking water to the pan with the sauce.  The starches from the water will help create an even richer, creamier dairy-free, oil-free sauce

Chef's Tip: Add some of the pasta cooking water to the pan with the sauce.  The starches from the water will help create an even richer, creamier dairy-free, oil-free sauce

Chef's Tip: Curly kale and white beans cook the pasta and sauce for the last 2 minutes of cooking for a rich, creamy dish, packed with flavor and delicious textures

Chef's Tip: Curly kale and white beans cook the pasta and sauce for the last 2 minutes of cooking for a rich, creamy dish, packed with flavor and delicious textures

Ingredients

1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons cashew butter, unsalted plain
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon red chili flake
1 lemon
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 servings whole wheat rigatoni pasta
1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped (about 4-6 cups)
1 cup cooked cannellini beans
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tablespoons chopped pistachios


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Lemony Kale Rigatoni Pasta - Healthy, Plant-Based, Vegan, Oil-Free, Whole Grain, Dairy-Free, Italian Dinner Entree Recipe

Procedure:

To make the sauce: In a small pot, combine the white wine, lemon zest, cashew butter, and sliced garlic.
Cover and simmer on low till garlic softens, about 10min
When garlic and cashew butter are soft, use a fork to mash to a paste. 
Add the red chili flake and keep on low heat, covered. 
Zest the lemon and add to the sauce.  Halve and juice the lemon into the sauce.
Whisk in the cheesy nutritional yeast and salt.  Your sauce is ready.  
If using for pasta, keep on the stove, covered, on the lowest heat possible, until pasta is ready.

To make the pasta and kale: Gather ingredients. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.  Pour your White Wine Sauce into a wide pan.  Cover and bring to a low simmer.
To make the pasta: Boil the pasta in the pot of boiling water.  Cook according to the package directions, about 10 min, until almost done.  You want the pasta to still have some "bite".
While the pasta is boiling, strip the kale.  Discard the stems.  Chop the kale leaves into bite-sized pieces.
Add the chopped kale and 1/2 cup of the pasta boiling water to the pan with the white wine sauce. Stir to wilt the kale
When the pasta is almost done, ladle out 1 cup of the pasta boiling water into the pan with the white wine sauce.  Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the white wine sauce.  Add the beans to the same pan.
Stir and cook until the pasta is tender, just 2 minutes or so. Let the liquid reduce. 
When the sauce has thickened and is creamy, turn off the heat.
Taste adjust seasoning.
Top with chopped pistachios and serve

Chef's Tips: You can substitute with any dark greens for this dish.  Mustard greens or arugula will add a peppery bite, while baby spinach will add a subtle sweetness.  For quicker convenience, just use a bag of pre-washed baby kale, spinach, or arugula.


Step-by-Step Photos:

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving (1/4 recipe)

Calories 303.64
Calories From Fat (19%) 59.16
% Daily Value
Total Fat 7.26g 11%
Saturated Fat 1.11g 6%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 182.13mg 8%
Potassium 758.65mg 22%
Total Carbohydrates 42.36g 14%
Fiber 8.54g 34%
Sugar 1.85g
Protein 14.82g 30%
Calcium 99.19mg 10%
Iron 163.42mg 908%
Vitamin A 10403.12IU 208%
Vitamin C 20.79mg 35


Curly kale tends to be a sturdier, heartier vegetable than the slightly-sweeter, more tender Lacinato Kale. Plant-Based Chef Katie Simmons shares her tips on how to use the two types in different recipes. Tons of kale recipes at: www.plants-rule.com