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Spinach Pesto and Haloumi Penne with Basil, Almonds and Kale

Breathe new life into an old favourite with this utterly delicious version of pesto penne. Super-green spinach pesto and braised kale are balanced with zesty preserved lemon. Topped with warm, golden chunks of haloumi.
Recipe kindly supplied by Marley Spoon

Prep time: 10 min, Cook time: 30 min


garlic cloves skin on, 1.5 g

chilli, long green, 15.0 g

nuts, almonds, slivered, 20.0 g

cheese, haloumi, 180.0 g

preserved lemons, 30.0 g

herb, basil , 10.0 g

pasta, penne rigate, 200.0 g

baby spinach leaves, 100.0 g

Massel Vegetable stock cube, 10.0 g

Step 1 

Cook pasta in stock

Put 1.5L (6 cups) / 3L (12 cups) water and the stock cubes in a medium / large saucepan and bring to boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the stock. Add the penne and return to the boil. Cook over a medium heat for 10-12 mins until al dente.( wholemeal pasta takes 14 -15 mins). Reserve 60ml (¼ cup) / 80ml (⅓ cup) of the cooking water, then drain the pasta. Return the pasta to the pan.

Step 2 

Prepare pesto ingredients

Meanwhile, crush or finely chop the garlic. Coarsely chop the chilli, removing the seeds if less heat is desired. Pick the basil leaves, discarding the stems.


Step 3

Make spinach pesto

Put the almonds in a cold medium / large frypan over medium heat. Toast, tossing, for 3-4 mins until evenly golden. Put the toasted nuts in a small food processor with the spinach, basil, chilli, 1½ tbs / 60ml (¼ cup) olive oil and half the garlic. Season with pepper and ½ tsp /1 tsp salt. Process until smooth. Alternatively, put in a bowl and use a stick blender.

Step 4

Chop ingredients

Drain and pat dry the halloumi on paper towel. Cut into 2cm cubes. Trim the ends of the Tuscan kale, then thinly slice the stem and leaves. Cut away all lemon flesh and pith from the preserved lemon rind and discard.

Step 5

Cook Tuscan kale

Finely chop the rind. Heat 2 tsp / 1 tbs olive oil in the frypan. Cook the Tuscan kale and remaining garlic, stiring, for 3 mins. Add to the pasta with the spinach pesto, preserved lemon and reserved cooking water.


Step 6

Cook haloumi

Heat the pan over high heat. Add the haloumi and cook for 2-3 mins turning regularly so both sides are golden and starting to soften. Divide the pasta among bowls and top with the haloumi to serve.


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Spinach Pesto and Haloumi Penne with Basil, Almonds and Kale