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Gemelli with Kale Pesto and Olives

The time it takes to cook these cute gemelli pasta is the time it takes to make the sauce! This walnut-kale pesto with a bit of orange is a departure from the traditional recipe, but it's super yummy and hearty. Make it as spicy as you want by adjusting the red pepper flakes!
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Gemelli with Kale Pesto and Olives

Servings

6

Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

15 minutes

Calories

0

Author:

Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Gemelli with Kale Pesto and Olives

Ingredients

    For The Pesto:

  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 cups baby kale
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest (1 large orange)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (1/2 orange)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • For The Pasta:

  • 1 pound gemelli pasta
  • One 2 1/2-pound rotisserie chicken (meat picked and shredded (about 3 cups))
  • 1 cup red or green Cerignola olives (pitted and roughly chopped)
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives (roughly chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (for drizzling)

Instructions

    For the pesto:

    1. Place the walnuts, garlic and kale in a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil to form a smooth sauce. Add the salt, pepper flakes, orange zest, orange juice and Parmesan. Pulse until well blended. Pour the pesto into a large bowl and set aside.

    For the pasta:

    1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gemelli and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water. Add the hot pasta to the bowl with the pesto, and toss well with a rubber spatula to coat. Add the chicken, the Cerignola and Kalamata olives, and the salt and Parmesan. Toss again. Loosen with pasta water as needed. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil if desired.

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