Whole-Wheat Tagliatelle with Creamy White-Bean and Kale Sauce

Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
45 mins

For a healthy, craveable dinner, try this creamy but dairy-free kale "pesto" that's made with cannellini beans, and go with whole-grain noodles to get the most nutrients from your pasta. Top with sliced almonds for a plant-based protein boost.


  • ½ cup sliced almonds (2 ounces)

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • 1 small bunch (8 ounces) curly-leaf kale, stems and ribs removed, torn into bite-size pieces (4 ½ packed cups)

  • 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh juice

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 12 ounces Khorasan-wheat tagliatelle, such as Kamut, or other wide whole-grain pasta

  • 1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (1 cup)

  • ½ cup packed fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread almonds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until fragrant and golden, 10 to 12 minutes.

  2. Heat oil in a large straight-sided skillet over medium-high. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until light golden, about 1 minute. Add kale and cook, tossing, until bright green, about 1 minute. Scrape mixture into a blender (reserve skillet). Add 1 cup water, beans, and lemon juice to blender; purée until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Season with salt.

  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente, 1 minute less than package instructions. Drain.

  4. Pour blended kale sauce back into skillet and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Add pasta and cook, tossing, until coated and sauce has thickened slightly, 1 to 2 minutes more. (If sauce thickens too much, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.) Season with salt and pepper.

  5. In a bowl, combine cheese, parsley, toasted almonds, and lemon zest. Sprinkle half of cheese mixture over pasta and serve remainder on the side. Drizzle pasta with more oil and serve.

    whole-wheat tagliatelle with creamy white-bean and kale sauce
    Ryan Liebe
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