Pasta with vegan kale, rocket and hazelnut pesto

Pasta with vegan kale, rocket and hazelnut pesto recipe

A quick pasta recipe that combines the taste of winter and the anticipation of spring: pasta with kale, rocket and hazelnut pesto. The nutty green pesto can be made vegan or with Parmesan.

Our cat has decided it’s spring. While he spends most of the summer outside on the balcony in the sun, in the winter he’ll only put three paws out in the cold only to find out that there’s no underfloor heating outside. But since there have been two or three sunny days lately that almost felt like spring, he dares to step outside more and more often, sits persistently on one of the garden chairs and waits for the sun’s rays to return. We can’t blame him. We too long for spring and sunnier days. And that applies to cooking too. The Pasta with vegan kale, rocket and hazelnut pesto sets us in the right mood for spring, at least in terms of colour, while at the same time drawing on wintry aromas.

Homemade green pesto: kale meets rocket

Kale’s days are numbered. We won’t be seeing the green winter vegetables at the weekly markets for much longer. For those who – like us – can’t get enough of it, it’s time to grab it again before cabbage disappears from the menu again by autumn. That we Kale is best eaten crisp, is no longer a secret. We have only just found out that it also goes well with fresh rocket – one of the first harbingers of spring – and that together they make a slightly spicy, wonderfully nutty, fresh and pithy green pesto.

To the nutty note of Kale pesto To tease out a little more, we use a cashew-based Parmesan substitute in addition to rocket and hazelnuts. This also makes the kale and rocket pesto vegan. Of course you can also prepare the whole thing with regular Parmesan if you don’t have to go vegan or if you don’t have nut Parmesan on hand.

Would you like more recipes with kale? Then try:

Pasta with vegan kale, rocket and hazelnut pesto recipe

Pasta with vegan kale, rocket and hazelnut pesto (recipe for 4 people)


  • 150 g kale (about 100 g leaves, trimmed)
  • 80 g Rocket
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 50 ml sunflower oil
  • 200 ml olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 60 g hazelnuts, chopped
  • 3 teaspoons vegan Parmesan substitute (e.g. Cashew-Topping*, alternatively coarsely grated Parmesan if it doesn’t have to be vegan) + a little more for serving
  • 1 TL Balsamic-Essig
  • ½ tsp lemon zest
  • Salt
  • Pfeffer
  • 500g Spaghetti


  1. Wash the kale and arugula and shake dry. Remove the kale leaves from the stalks, roughly chop, and knead by hand in a medium bowl for 1 minute to soften slightly. Roughly chop 50 g rocket, set the rest aside. Peel and coarsely chop the garlic.
  2. Add the chopped rocket leaves and garlic to the kale in the bowl, pour in the sunflower oil and puree finely with a hand blender. Add olive oil, lemon juice and chopped hazelnuts and briefly puree again – pieces of hazelnut should still be visible. Stir in the Parmesan substitute (alternatively the grated Parmesan) and the balsamic vinegar and season the pesto with lemon zest, salt and pepper.
  3. Cook the spaghetti in a large saucepan of salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta, return to the pot while dripping wet and mix immediately with the pesto.
  4. Divide the pasta between plates and serve sprinkled with Parmesan substitute (alternatively grated Parmesan) and the remaining rocket.

Tipp: If there are leftover pesto residues, they can be placed in a clean screw-top jar. Pour enough olive oil over it to completely cover the pesto – this keeps it in the fridge for at least 4 weeks.

Pasta with vegan kale, rocket and hazelnut pesto recipe

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