Spaghetti with Kale and Lemon

Oh weird I wonder how this pasta post ended up on my website. Weird.

I started the week with pasta and I’m ending it with pasta. BOOK ENDING. I like the way this feels. It’s like watching a man mow his front lawn and noticing that he keeps missing this one itty bitty tiny little spot in the center and it’s like, DUDE WHY ARE YOU NOT MOWING THAT LITTLE SPOT, so you start to twitch and itch, and then you can’t take it anymore so you end up running out the front door to alert him of the non-mowed spot and how the world will collapse if he doesn’t mow it, and he looks you straight in the eye and says, “your shirt’s on inside out,” and then runs the mower over the little spot.

Y’all he mowed that sum-bia. Feels good.

So apparently I decided to make the Emerald City out of thin spaghetti. Upside down Thin Spaghetti Emerald City. That’s all I really had to say about that. Actually it’s not. Have I ever told you that I played Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz when I was 18 years old in the New Mexico regional theater I mean theatre program? I have? Again? Oh.

Okay now I’m done.


Okay one more thing. Last night I finished season one of Parenthood. O-M-G.

a) Is Dax going to move to New York?! I can’t even take it. Why can’t she just stay in whatever town they’re in? Doesn’t she know they’re a family now?! Wait, what town are they in? San Francisco? You know Kansas City has an Alvin Ailey dance program. Isn’t that neat?

b) Why do I really like Camille’s hair? All those wild curls on top of her head. Although everything she says it sounds like she’s about to start sobbing. I just want to pet her. And then borrow her glasses.

c) If you happen to see my life, tell it I need it. But not until I’m completely caught up amIright.


In other words, this pasta is seriously divine. And so so so simple. Super lemony, super sunflower seedy, super kale-y, super garlicky, super parmesan-y, super glo – WAIT WAS MY SHIRT REALLY ON INSIDE OUT?

Comes together in the blink of an eye. Just like my wardrobe apparently.

Spaghetti with Kale and Lemon:

(inspired by Whole Living):

What it took for 4:

* 1 pound thin spaghetti
* 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
* 1 (4 oz) tub of baby kale leaves (or 1 bunch, roughly chopped)
* 2 Tbs. sunflower seeds
* 2 Tbs. lemon zest
* 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
* 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus a ton more for garnish
* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper; bloom for 30 seconds. Add the kale and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to wilt the greens, about a minute. Stir in the sunflower seeds, lemon zest and juice. Toss to combine.

In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti until al dente. Reserve about 1/2 cup pasta water and drain the rest. Add the spaghetti to the skillet and toss to combine. Add enough pasta water to create a thin sauce. Finally, add that cheese, man. Toss, toss, toss. Taste it. More salt? Add a pinch-a-roo.

But don’t say pinch-a-roo out loud if you seek human companionship in your life.

Serve with more cheese on top!

I’m afraid this is mandatory.

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92 Responses to Spaghetti with Kale and Lemon

  1. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl December 7, 2012 at 7:58 am #
    You had me at lemon. This is the perfect pasta!
  2. Ana December 7, 2012 at 8:04 am #
    looks amazing! and i have all of these ingredients around somehow :)
  3. Amy December 7, 2012 at 8:05 am #
    And I just got a bag of pine nuts. Well lookie that.
  4. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar December 7, 2012 at 8:14 am #
    This sounds fabulous! Yum!
  5. Brian @ A Thought For Food December 7, 2012 at 8:26 am #
    The problem with a dish like this is that I can eat it every night and be a very happy guy. Ok... maybe that's not a problem. I'm a sucker for lemon in my pasta dishes. I almost always zest some on top.
  6. DessertForTwo December 7, 2012 at 8:30 am #
    Bev! This is exactly the type of pasta I like to make & eat! Yo, that photo of spaghetti is AWESOME. Can I buy it from you to print and frame in my kitchen? Let's talk. Let's make a deal. Let's shake hands on it. Have your people call my people.
  7. Alison @ ingredients, Inc. December 7, 2012 at 8:43 am #
    oh Bev! LOVE THIS
  8. Mandie @ Oh So Decadent December 7, 2012 at 8:56 am #
    I know what you mean about how annoying that one little spot of un-mown grass probably was. Things like that always drive me up a wall! Literally, I'm like Spiderman. But anyway, this pasta looks so yummy! I've been on a kale kick lately and adding it to pasta sounds like the ultimate in deliciousness :).
  9. Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings December 7, 2012 at 9:04 am #
    Delicious! You could post everyday about pasta :)
  10. Katie December 7, 2012 at 9:16 am #
    Dinner. Tonight. No question. (Now I just need you to come perform the wizard of oz for me for some dinner entertainment)
  11. Vita @ Juicer Depot December 7, 2012 at 9:23 am #
    Cute picture of you as Dorothy. This pasta also looks really delicious too.
  12. Erika {In Erika's Kitchen} December 7, 2012 at 9:36 am #
    Funny - by coincidence, this is exactly what I had for dinner last night!
  13. carrian December 7, 2012 at 10:36 am #
    Ohhhhh, pretty shots!! This pasta sounds just lovely!
  14. Cookie and Kate December 7, 2012 at 10:38 am #
    This. Yes. Want. I need more carbs in my life.
  15. Abby @ The Frosted Vegan December 7, 2012 at 10:41 am #
  16. marla December 7, 2012 at 11:16 am #
    Beautiful Bev!
  17. Jeanine December 7, 2012 at 1:12 pm #
    gorgeous! This is one of my favorite kinds of simple-but-fancy meals!
  18. Tracy December 7, 2012 at 1:27 pm #
    This pasta looks amazing, I think I found tonight's dinner. If you liked season one of Parenthood, you will just die when you get to the current season- it is breaking my heart!!
  19. Aggie December 7, 2012 at 2:29 pm #
    Oh I'm so there, want this for dinner.
  20. Rachael {SimplyFreshCooking} December 7, 2012 at 2:44 pm #
    Wow, stunning pasta dish. I need my kale fix. It's been a while! I think you've convinced me to watch myself some Parenthood dvd's. I tend to not watch a lot of hit shows until they've been on for a long time... and then I watch like 5 seasons in a week. I have a lot of time on my hands.
  21. Caitlin December 7, 2012 at 3:43 pm #
    This looks like the perfect way to combine some of my favorite ingredients into my favorite base... pasta! And Parenthood gets better and better, fyi! I moved to London this year and it's the one show I find a way to keep up with. Love it! Love your blog!
  22. the 3volution of j3nn December 7, 2012 at 5:12 pm #
    Sounds light and refreshing!
  23. Katie @ Blonde Ambition December 7, 2012 at 5:24 pm #
    I don't know why, but I am totally clinging to the sunflower seed aspect of this. I love those little guys! And I have a feeling I may never be able to look at dry spaghetti again without envisioning the Emerald City. Totally OK with that.
  24. Emily @ Life on Food December 7, 2012 at 5:52 pm #
    This looks absolutely outstanding!
  25. kelley {mountain mama cooks} December 7, 2012 at 6:33 pm #
    Love the pasta. Love parenthood. Love Camille's hair.
  26. Cassie | Bake Your Day December 7, 2012 at 7:08 pm #
    Um, I love Camille's hair. And this pasta. Every single last bite. I watched the first three seasons in a week. Still haven't found my life.
  27. Nutmeg Nanny December 7, 2012 at 11:06 pm #
    This is beautiful! So light and filling. It just proves that winter does not mean food has to be heavy :)
  28. Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen December 8, 2012 at 6:07 am #
    I flew through those first 2 seasons lol! Oh and this pasta slays me.
  29. Ardex Cd Fine Concrete Dressing December 8, 2012 at 8:56 am #
    Kale is quite the trend these days!
  30. Lisa December 8, 2012 at 10:18 am #
    I'm on season 3 of parenthood and can't get enough!
  31. velva December 8, 2012 at 5:11 pm #
    This dish really got my attention. I have fresh kale in the garden and ripe lemons hanging from the trees. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Velva
  32. Smplefy December 9, 2012 at 11:40 am #
    Sounds wonderful. I will try it this week.
  33. Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen December 9, 2012 at 9:34 pm #
    GAWD this looks so good. I can't even take it. And Parenthood season 1 is just meh, but season 2 AND 3?! Good gracious. It's pure heaven.
  34. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious December 9, 2012 at 11:44 pm #
    Love this! I have a box of meyer lemons to use up so this recipe here is just perfect! Plus, I should finally give kale a try, right?
  35. Jen @ Savory Simple December 10, 2012 at 6:46 am #
    So much deliciousness!
  36. Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen December 10, 2012 at 3:42 pm #
    I haven't had Parm in forever. I miss it! It's on the list...
  37. Angela December 11, 2012 at 3:53 pm #
    I made it tonight for dinner. DELICIOUS! Great recipe:)
    • Bev Weidner December 11, 2012 at 4:11 pm #
      Ahhhh! I'm so happy to hear it!
  38. Ginny December 11, 2012 at 5:26 pm #
    They live in Berkeley, CA in Parenthood-great show!
  39. ohbygolly December 11, 2012 at 7:50 pm #
    You crack me up! I should tell you that I don't particularly like to cook, but I LOVE to laugh so I keep coming back here!! And yeah, you've inspired me to make a good dish or two...which is insane.
    • ohbygolly December 11, 2012 at 7:51 pm #
      PS. This is one of those dishes. yummz
  40. Natasja - December 13, 2012 at 4:42 am #
    Love spaghetti, kale and lemon so this one will definitely end up on my menu soon! :)
  41. Anonymous December 13, 2012 at 12:36 pm #
    Looks like I need to try this!!! Reni
  42. Benthe December 16, 2012 at 12:32 pm #
    I just made and ate this, for me and my mom it was a hit! My sister isn't a fan of kale and this didn't make her like it either, too bad, but we loved it! Very fresh, light and has every aspect I love in a pasta dish (cheese!!!). Thanks!
  43. jen December 17, 2012 at 9:19 pm #
    Made this for dinner the other night. The family loved it!
  44. Michele Gouveia Allen January 4, 2013 at 4:15 pm #
    Came out great - I left out the Sunflower Seeds though. I also added a bit of Grilled Chicken Breast pieces. Wonderful combination. I agree, lemon in pasta is awesome!
  45. Laura January 8, 2013 at 12:42 am #
    Made this tonight. Yummy! We couldn't get enough of it. I subbed pine nuts for sunflower seeds, since I had them -- worked great. Thank you!
  46. meredith January 9, 2013 at 10:27 pm #
    This was really disappointing! Made it exactly like the recipe and just found it to be bland and dry. Lemony for sure, but that's about it!
    • beth January 10, 2013 at 1:53 am #
      Um. that's my mother's flatware that she bought with stamps at Safeway in the early 70's. She has a few pieces missing from her set... :)
      • Bev Weidner January 10, 2013 at 6:48 am #
        Hahaha! This flatware is my late Memaw's, and I'm guessing she probably got hers there too!
    • Bev Weidner January 10, 2013 at 6:49 am #
      Oh I'm so sorry to hear this! This bums me out. I remember having to add pasta water to mine to make a thin sauce. But I'm sorry you found it boring. :( I do thank you for letting me know, though.
    • Anonymous June 25, 2013 at 10:46 am #
      You could double the ingredients & add a little tab of butter; make it like you would make linguine with clam sauce
      • Anonymous June 25, 2013 at 10:57 am #
        This also sounds like it would taste yummy tossed with wild rice instead of pasta
  47. Sharon January 10, 2013 at 8:58 am #
    First of all I have to say I LOVE your sense of wit and humor in your writing! I found myself laughing out loud at your sarcasm :) Want you to know I am sharing your recipe through my blog and social pages as part of my January Super Greens Wellness Challenge. I'll be trying this recipe of yours soon myself (once pasta is back in my meal plan) Thank you!
  48. Julie January 28, 2013 at 10:18 pm #
    I'm so excited to try this tomorrow night! I've already pinned it!
  49. Sarah March 1, 2013 at 2:40 pm #
    I'm making this again tonight...this is at least the 4th time I've made it since you posted it. I could seriously slurp up the whole pot myself. Gotta be one of my favorite meals.
  50. Manasi March 15, 2013 at 9:29 am #
    Made this last night and LOVED it! I also had a leftover bag of kale chips and sprinkled them on top of the pasta for added crunch!
  51. amrita May 14, 2013 at 7:26 pm #
    found this last week on pinterest and made it tonight--delicious!
  52. KrisTina June 4, 2013 at 5:34 pm #
    got no kale, got no sunflower seeds... am subbing arugula and pine nuts. is that like wearing my pasta inside out? your pics rock. your ramblings, even better!
    • Ashley June 5, 2013 at 5:50 pm #
      I just made this for dinner tonight. Used gluten free pasta and left out the sunflower seeds (because I don't have any). Tastes amazing! Wasn't sure how it'd turn out with gluten free, but it's great! Thank you!
  53. Rose June 13, 2013 at 8:26 pm #
    Made this tonight and my family loved it! My 5 year old said I have to make this recipe every time I make pasta :-) it was absolutely delicious.
  54. Sam June 14, 2013 at 8:57 pm #
    anyone know where I can get those wooden bowls? they look so awesome!
  55. julie June 24, 2013 at 9:22 pm #
    I'm going to try this husband who is the cook in the house is going to try it tomorrow. I'm the one who everyone tells to get out of the kitchen and if they don't say it out loud their eyes sure do the talking. lol.. I really enjoyed reading this blog entry. SO FUNNY!
  56. kath July 25, 2013 at 5:43 pm #
    So we are making this right now. I can tell this is going to be great but girl you are a riot. I am going to follow just to read you.
  57. Robin September 24, 2013 at 10:59 am #
    My husband and I started our vegan before 6:00 this weekend so I tried this dish for lunch today. Divine!
  58. Sara August 11, 2014 at 9:13 pm #
    I just want to thank you for this recipe. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE it!! And my family does as well, And they are picky. thanks again!
  59. Hancock Joe January 26, 2015 at 8:58 pm #
    Great recipe....I don't use as much pasta as the recipe calls for. Topped with a few Kalamata olives. Delicious!


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