Bucatini Pasta with Kale Pesto and Sardines


Bucatini Pasta with Kale Pesto and Sardines / Bev Cooks

Sorry to scream. And the d-bag z instead of an s. What am I saying, you’re used to this by now.

I feel like we’re in this era of the year where it’s like, ohhh I need health, ohhhh I need spring greens, ohhhhhhh I need more omega threez, but ohhhhhhh I need all the pastas.

This is why we’re friends. I know these situations. I know these feelings. I know about needing the pastas. I know about Joey Mcintyre on the Meredith Vieira Show the other day.

Hold on, that . . . that wasn’t meant for this post.

Bucatini Pasta with Kale Pesto and Sardines / Bev Cooks  Bucatini Pasta with Kale Pesto and Sardines / Bev Cooks

You’re looking that tin of sardines and you are fa-reaking out, aren’t you?

Do you know how delicious sardines are? And I hate the word delicious and I’m going to use it over and over again. Delicious, delicious, delicious. If you get the right kind, they’re not over-the-top fishy, and they pack this oceany punch that’ll make you feel like you’re doing yoga on the sandy beaches of Costa Ricondanilana Beyoncélanda.

No, I swear that’s a place.

I’m not even going to talk about the health benefits of sardines because you’re smart. You know.

Bucatini Pasta with Kale Pesto and Sardines / Bev Cooks

Also, kale pesto. I added parsley to zoom up my zing, but if you want straight kale I can totally dig that.

No need to steam or sauté the kale first. It’s best in its raw state, and will add an earthiness to the pesto that’ll make you feel you’re getting a massage in the tropical islands of Balifitca TaylorSwiftica.

No, for real it exists.

I’m not even going to tell you about how awesome kale is for you because you’re cool. You get it.

Bucatini Pasta with Kale Pesto and Sardines / Bev Cooks


Bucatini Pasta with Kale Pesto and Sardines / Bev Cooks

And when you start actually eating the pasta the fish will break up a little, like this.

But it’s all good because you’re going to look 16 years old right after you eat this meal.

Unless you’re 8 or 12 years old, then that would be weird. And I’m sorry. And don’t report me.

Bucatini Pasta with Kale Pesto and Sardines / Bev Cooks

Heaven isn’t too far away, you guys.

Bucatini Pasta with Kale Pesto and Sardines:

What it took for four:

* 6 large Tuscan kale leaves, rinsed
* 4 large garlic cloves
* juice from 1/2 lemon
* 1/2 cup parsley leaves
* 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan
* 1/4 cup honey roasted almonds (dry almonds are just fine!)
* 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 pinch coarse salt
* 1/2 pound of bucatini (or whole pound to use of up all of the pesto! or have some pesto leftover. whatever you want, man)
* 1 (3.75 oz tin) sardines (brisling are awesome), drained

In a food processor, add the kale, garlic, lemon juice, parsley, parmesan and almonds. Add a good pinch of salt, and with the motor running, add the oil in a thin stream until you get a beautiful silky pesto. Taste it. Need anything? More salt? Do it. More lemon? ‘Mkay. Oil? It’s all you.

In the meantime, boil the pasta until al dente. Drain and add to a large serving bowl.

Add half, or most, or all (!!) of the pesto (I had about 1/3 cup leftover over), and toss until evenly coated.

Serve each helping of pasta with a single sardine on top. Garnish with extra parm and a drizzle of olive oil and you’re seriously so good at living right now.

Bucatini Pasta with Kale Pesto and Sardines / Bev Cooks

Now I want a cookie.

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17 Responses to Bucatini Pasta with Kale Pesto and Sardines

  1. Sune Moolman April 21, 2015 at 3:26 am #
    I'm a big fan of sardines, but my hubby can't stand them. I'm making this pasta anyway – it looks delicious, delicious, delicious! :P
  2. jessica April 21, 2015 at 8:20 am #
    how have i never made kale pesto? also you should know i wrote joey mcintyre a letter in 2nd grade telling him we would be married some day. which isn't even a little embarrassing.
  3. Jamie | Jamie's Recipes April 21, 2015 at 10:07 am #
    Such a great way to eat sardines. I've only ever had them off the fork or on a saltine cracker.
  4. Donna April 21, 2015 at 10:09 am #
    Bev, can you recommend a brand of sardines? I have wanted to try sardines again, but I have a perception of them as being unappetizing bony and oily. The ones you show look great, and I'd love to try them. Thanks, Donna
    • Bev Weidner April 21, 2015 at 12:48 pm #
      Hey! Actually, Trader Joe's has some really good sardines, but for this recipe in particular I used the brand Season. Blue package, says Brisling on the outside, and in olive oil I believe!
  5. Caitlin April 21, 2015 at 10:43 am #
    This looks fantastic! I'm definitely trying. I discovered I like sardines while on a trip last fall but haven't thought about actually cooking them. One question--do you just take the sardines out of the can and place them on the pasta, or do you need to heat and/or saute them or just serve room temperature?
    • Bev Weidner April 21, 2015 at 12:47 pm #
      You're correct! Straight from the tin and onto the pasta. No need to sauté them. You CAN if you want, but they may break up in the pan, as they're super delicate. Hope you enjoy!
  6. Stephanie April 21, 2015 at 1:58 pm #
    "You’re looking that tin of sardines and you are fa-reaking out, aren’t you?" yes. yes i am. thanks for recommendations in the earlier comments. there is now a SLIGHTLY higher chance i'll try this. but only when the hubs is away. he's not all up on kale's greatness to transport us to Balifitca TaylorSwiftica.
  7. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl April 21, 2015 at 2:33 pm #
    You can zoom up my zing any day. I thought I was the only lunatic who loved canned sardines.
  8. joy April 24, 2015 at 9:15 am #
  9. Maresa April 29, 2015 at 3:03 pm #
    I'm not going to lie, I'm running for the hills right now... I've never eaten sardines, but maybe this is the kick in the pants I need to try them! Just found your blog and am loooving it so far!!
  10. Kevin May 12, 2015 at 9:49 pm #
    Looks amazing! Now if you could find some fresh sardines and try this with them, you may not recuperate from the resulting bliss.
    • Bev Weidner May 13, 2015 at 6:11 am #
      Oh I totally agree! I can't ever find fresh sardines. Maybe I'll try Whole Foods!
  11. Kait May 17, 2015 at 3:32 pm #
    Hi! I'm a big ole fan of you and your recipes. I'm excited to try this one later today! I could only find torn tuscan kale, not the leaves. Do you have an idea as to how many ounces or cups are in six kale leaves? I want to get the proportions right on my first attempt at homemade pesto! Thanks.
    • Bev Weidner May 17, 2015 at 6:05 pm #
      Hey! I'd say like 3-4 cups of the leaves. It sounds like a lot, but it'll chop down reaaaaallly finely in the processor. Good luck!
  12. Jen Renee January 12, 2018 at 5:16 pm #
    This pesto is fantastic! Highly recommend topping with extra parmesan and dash of crushed red pepper when serving. I did not try it with the sardines but maybe next time!


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