Pesto, meaning “pounded” in Italian, is an uncooked sauce of basil, garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan, ground or blended together. This traditional recipe can be replicated with myriad variations. Cooking tip: Pasta cooking water will help thin out thicker sauces such as ragouts or pestos. Its starch will also help it cling better to the pasta.
Total time: 20-30 minutes
1 bunch carrots
2 ounces kale
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons almonds, divided
2 tablespoons grated pecorino cheese, divided
12 ounces cheese ravioli
3 tablespoons olive oil
1. Prepare Ingredients
Preheat oven to 450°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Rinse carrots and cut into ¼-inch slices. Zest lemon, reserving remainder for another use. Rinse kale and tear leaves into bitesize pieces, discarding stems. Mince garlic. Roughly chop half of almonds.
2. Roast Carrots
On a baking sheet, toss carrots with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast until tender, 10-12 minutes.
3. Make Kale Pesto
While carrots roast, in a food processor or blender, combine garlic and whole almonds and pulse until smooth. Add lemon zest, kale, ¾ of grated pecorino, salt, and pepper. Pulse until finely chopped, then, with machine running, slowly add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Process until smooth. Alternatively, chop all ingredients as finely as possible and stir together with olive oil. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.
4. Cook Ravioli
Add ravioli and a generous pinch salt to pot of boiling water. Cook until ravioli is tender, 3-4 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup pasta cooking water, then drain and set aside.
5. Season Ravioli
In a large bowl, stir together carrots, kale pesto, and ravioli. Add reserved pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until pesto is thin enough to coat evenly.
6. Plate Ravioli
Divide ravioli evenly between 2 plates and top with chopped almonds and remaining grated pecorino. Serve.