Serves: Makes 6 servings
- ½ pound Tuscan kale, central ribs removed
- ½ cup walnut pieces, toasted
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- ½ cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup freshly grated pecorino cheese, plus more for the table
- Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ pounds fusilli or spaghetti
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the kale and boil until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. With a wire-mesh skimmer or tongs, transfer the kale to a sieve or colander and run under cold running water until cool. Drain again and squeeze to remove excess moisture. Keep the pot of water boiling.
- Put the kale, walnuts, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until nearly smooth. Add the ricotta and pulse again until blended. With the motor running, add the olive oil through the feed tube. Transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in the pecorino, then season with salt and pepper.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook, stirring often with tongs, until al dente. Just before the pasta is ready to drain, scoop some boiling water from the pot and use it to thin the pesto to a loose sauce consistency. Set aside an additional 1 cup boiling water to use for further thinning, if needed.
- Drain the pasta and return it to the hot pot. Add the pesto and, using tongs, toss the pasta with the sauce, thinning with some of the reserved hot water if necessary. Divide among warmed bowls and serve immediately. Pass additional pecorino at the table.