This tomato + basil + kale pasta is amazing. It’s not only packed with nutrients thanks to the greens, tomatoes, and whole grains, it’s also really, really good! The combination of healthy greens, hearty pasta, and tasty herbs & spices make this dish clean and simple yet full of flavor. And when you factor in the quick prep time–under 30 minutes, or even less if you prep the pasta and veggies ahead of time–it gets even better.
Whole wheat pasta is a great way to enjoy luscious pasta meals once or twice a week that won’t sabotage your healthy-eating goals like white pasta will. Instead, it will help you feel satisfied and nourished. Good quality pasta dishes keep you motivated to continue eating clean because they taste indulgent but also pack a huge nutritional punch (as long as you dress up the pasta dishes with healthy greens + veggies) along with a healthy dose of fiber. Filling up on fiber keeps you satiated longer, helps clean out & regulate your digestive system, and promotes clear skin by attracting and eliminating toxins and wastes from our system.
That being said, if you’re avoiding flour or wheat, you could swap the whole-wheat linguine in this recipe for zoodles (aka spiralized zucchini noodles) or brown rice pasta and still get the healthy benefits. Just be sure when you pick out gluten-free products that you look for items made from naturally gluten free ingredients that are good quality. Avoid the gluten-free stuff filled with starches, processed grain flours (like white rice), and other not-so-healthy fillers. You need fiber in your flour if you want to get any health benefits from eating pasta. Another option, if you want to make this dish even cleaner (though it’s already in pretty good standing), is to skip the pasta altogether and add an extra bunch of finely shredded kale.
I hope you love this pasta dish as much as I do! Let me know how it turns out.
- 1 bunch dinosaur (aka lacinato or Italian) kale
- Several sprigs fresh basil (about 3/4 c chopped)
- 3-4 Roma tomatoes, sliced into half moons
- 1/2 package whole wheat linguine, or pasta of choice
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice (or squeeze the juice from two lemon slices if you don't want to measure)
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- Salt, pepper, and dried Italian herbs to taste
- Optional toppings: nutritional yeast, hemp seeds
- Set a pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions.
- While the pasta is cooking, clean, stem, and slice the kale and basil and place in a large mixing bowl.
- **You can discard the stems or save them in a grocery bag in the freezer to make veggie broth later on. Or, if you like to eat the stems, dice them finely and add to the mix.
- Slice the tomatoes into thin half moons and add to the mix.
- Add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning and stir well to combine.
- Once the pasta is finished cooking, drain and add to the mixing bowl, and mix again.
- **If you're meal-prepping, stop here and refrigerate the mixture. Pick up with the remaining steps when you're ready to eat the pasta.
- Set a skillet over medium-high heat (there's no need to add extra oil since it's in the pasta mix).
- Saute the pasta for a few minutes, until the greens are slightly wilted and the dish is warmed through.
- Serve topped with nutritional yeast and hemp seeds (pictured) good quality vegan and/or organic Parmesan or mozzarella cheese. Enjoy!