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Kale, Pepper and Feta Pasta recipe


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  • Farfalle

This is a delicious vegetarian pasta. It makes a wonderful hot meal or cold salad.

178 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 225g uncooked farfalle (bow tie) pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium red pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow pepper, chopped
  • 65g roughly chopped kale
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 pinch dried basil
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 225g feta cheese, crumbled

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:30min ›Ready in:45min

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Stir in red pepper, yellow pepper, kale and garlic. Season with basil, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender.
  3. In a large bowl, toss cooked pasta with frying pan mixture. Sprinkle with feta cheese to serve.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(188)

Reviews in English (136)

by DKBECK

I give very few 5 stars, but this one deserves every star! I'd give it ten if I could! This is absolutely wonderful! I made a couple minor adjustments. I used whole wheat corkscrew pasta (couldn't find bow ties at a large supermarket!), doubled the kale and probably tripled the cayenne. Next time, I'll use even more kale. This dish will grace my dinner table weekly as long as kale is in season. Thank you for sharing this recipe!-20 Jun 2006

by unix_girl

I added kalamata olives, zucchini, extra cayenne and extra kale. It was great, but I think it would have been too bland without the olives.-01 Oct 2006

by APCOOKING

This is really good! The garlic & the cayenne really compliment the kale. I love the IDEA of kale -- it's soooo healthy -- but don't love the taste, so this recipe addressed that. Make sure you use one "packed" cup of kale, as it really shrinks in the cooking, so more is better here.-28 Jun 2006


Red Pepper Pesto Pasta

Here’s a pasta recipe we dreamed up with a zesty red pepper pesto sauce. The pesto we adapted it from our own Roasted Red Pepper Pita Pizzas recipe — it’s an interesting alternative to a tomato-based sauce. We added some kale for some nice nutrients and a bit of texture. Paired with salty feta and crunchy walnuts, it’s a delicious and fancy-looking entree! Keep reading for the recipe.


How to Make Pasta with Brown Butter and Kale

I love this recipe. In the time it takes to boil and cook the pasta, everything will be done. I know the raisins might sound a little strange for pasta, but trust me. Brown butter + feta + golden raisins is awesome.

As the pasta cooks, we get everything else ready. First, plump up the raisins. To do this, simply pour hot water on top of them and let them sit for a few minutes. Next, make the brown butter. It’s easy and only takes 5 minutes to do. Basically, you swirl butter in a pan over medium-low heat until the butter solids toast and turn brown. As this happens the butter becomes nutty.

Finally, just before the pasta is finished cooking, throw a bunch of kale into the pot with pasta. After just a few minutes, the kale will be wilted and perfectly cooked for the pasta.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Easy kale soup packed with greens, low-fat chicken sausage, and potato. Jump to the Chicken Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup Recipe.

Recipe updated, originally posted April 2012. Since posting this in 2012, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 links sweet Italian turkey sausage (8 oz.), such as Jennie-O, casing removed, crumbled
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • ½ medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 cups chopped kale (3 oz.)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (Optional)
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ¾ cup whole-wheat penne pasta (3 oz.)
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage cook, stirring, until no longer pink, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add bell pepper and onion to the pan cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in kale, garlic, crushed red pepper (if using), and the sausage cook, stirring, until the kale is wilted, about 3 minutes.

Stir in water and pasta bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the pasta is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve immediately.


Kale Pasta Salad

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and add to a large bowl. Set aside.

Add pine nuts to a small skillet over low heat. Toast slowly over the course of 8-10 minutes, tossing regularly. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil and garlic over low heat so that the garlic slowly infuses the oil. When the oil starts to cause the garlic to sizzle, stir around so the garlic doesn't get too brown. When garlic starts to turn golden, add salt and pepper, stir, and set aside for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, pour the oil mixture (scraping the salt, pepper, and garlic) all over the bowtie pasta. Toss to combine and set aside.

Set the same skillet (without cleaning it) over medium-high heat. Add the kale and cook for 5 minutes, or until partly wilted.

Add kale and pine nuts to the pasta and toss it all together. Check to make sure it's no longer warm, then add Parmesan shavings and toss. Taste for seasonings and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

(Hint: This is great warmed up and served as a hot pasta dish!)

(Optional: May add 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar if desired.)

NOTE: Original amount of salt was changed to 1/2 teaspoon after feedback from folks who've made it!


How do you make fritters?

Making good fritters is so easy. They are pretty much just pancakes with added ingredients. I like super fluffy fritters that are stuffed to the brim with vegetables, cheese and other flavorings. I make fritter batter with flour, eggs, a small amount of oil to keep them super soft and fluffy inside and a good seasoning of salt, pepper and herbs.

Mixing the batter until the ingredients are just combined assures the batter doesn’t get overworked and will also result in delicious tender fritters.

If you want crispy fritters, fry them in oil until golden brown and crisp. Alternatively, cook them in the same way you would pancakes in a large, non-stick pan.


Pasta with Sautéed Kale and Toasted Bread Crumbs

It's the Parmesan-infused pan-fried fresh bread crumbs that make the dish.

There are lots of varieties of kale on the market – play around with any and all of them. Kale season lasts for a long time, starting about now, and then lasting well into the winter, since its such a hardy green. And (as we all know well know) it can be used in all kinds of ways, raw, cooked, in salads and soups and stews, and here as a great partner for pasta.

You can use other dark greens, like mustard greens, collards, Swiss chard even chopped broccolini or broccoli rabe. You can also use spinach, but cook it for only about 4 or 5 minutes, or it will probably get a bit too soft.

Having said that—like your greens super tender? Cook them longer.

And there are plenty of pasta and greens recipe out there to try, but this one is elevated and made super amazing by the topping of Parmesan-infused fried fresh bread crumbs. And a smidge of anchovies, and red pepper flakes.

I always rush to mention that if you have people at the table who think they don’t like anchovies, you should conveniently leave out that little nugget of information when describing this dish. But leave out the information, not the anchovies.

Other quick and easy pastas:

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Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Pasta with Kale and Feta

Long summer days make me yearn to spend time outside – going for evening walks, drinking wine on a neighbor’s deck, staying out late. The abundant daylight makes me want to spend more time playing and less time cooking. Leo’s arrival, coupled with our desire to soak up these long summer nights, has meant our meals have been less involved than usual. What I crave this time of year is fresh, light, simple meals. This pasta has been a regular in our house, and it’s just the kind of dinner that works for us right now. A quick, punchy pesto is tossed with pasta, sautéed kale, toasted walnuts and creamy feta.

I’ve got plenty of delicious recipes (um, mostly ice creams) to share with you guys, but I’ve been too busy soaking up those fleeting newborn snuggles to take photos of everything I want to post. Leo is such a dreamboat, and life with two little ones has been much less of an adjustment than I thought it would be, so I’ll be back soon.

1 pound whole wheat linguine or other pasta

12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained

12 sundried tomatoes packed in oil

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 cup chopped walnuts, divided

As I typically do with pasta dishes, I make the full recipe of sauce and freeze half of it, halving the rest of the recipe. This prevents dried out, reheated pasta and gives us an easy way to get dinner on the table on crazy nights.

Boil the pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, combine the red peppers, tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, ½ cup of walnuts, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until combined.

While the pasta cooks, remove the stems from the kale and chop the leaves. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the kale and red pepper flakes and sauté until the kale is bright green. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Drain the pasta, reserving a small amount of cooking water. Toast the remaining ½ cup of walnuts in a small skillet over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant.

Toss the pesto with the pasta, adding water if needed to loosen the sauce. Add the kale, then top each portion of pasta with walnuts and feta. Sprinkle with additional red pepper flakes, if desired.


What Does Baked Feta Pasta Taste Like?

The way we make it in this recipe, the pasta turns out otherworldly creamy, rich, and tangy. Like orders of magnitude creamier than you could imagine. You also get a fresh, delightful herbiness from the fresh basil and even more so from the pesto sauce.

If you prefer your pasta on the lighter end (less creamy/rich/decadent), use 1 pound of pasta instead of 8 ounces to double the pasta and lessen the ratio of sauce to pasta.

I will say, because both feta and cherry tomatoes have a tang to them, the pasta does turn out very tangy. This is something I enjoy, but if you aren&rsquot into very tangy food, consider reducing the amount of cherry tomatoes and/or adding a little cream or gruyere cheese to offset the tanginess.


Double-Duty Kale Pesto Pasta

In this two-way take on a classic pesto pasta, we snuck in a bunch of kale to up the nutrition ante. Kids get a yummy gluten-free pesto pasta with crudités and mom/dad gets a veggie-packed pasta salad that any coworker would envy.

8 ounces gluten-free pasta (we like chickpea rotini)

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 cup tightly packed curly green kale leaves (about ½ bunch)

¼ cup roughly chopped black olives

2 tablespoons feta cheese, optional

1 cup tightly packed curly green kale leaves (about ½ bunch)

1 cup basil, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil on the stovetop. Cook the pasta according to the package directions drain and let cool slightly.

2. Meanwhile, make the pesto: De-rib, wash, and dry the entire bunch of kale, reserving half for the grown-up pasta salad. Using a blender, food processor, or immersion blender, blitz together 1 tightly packed cup of roughly torn kale leaves with the next 6 ingredients until smooth. Stir in the Parmesan and set aside.

3. Place 1 cup of the cherry tomatoes and a red bell pepper half on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and a large pinch of salt. Roast in the oven until the tomatoes are blistered and the pepper is just tender, about 15 minutes.

4. Cut the remaining red pepper half into strips and set aside.

1. Measure out 1 tightly packed cup of the cleaned kale leaves and finely slice them. (Reserve any remaining kale for another use.) Toss the kale in a large bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the lemon juice, and a large pinch of salt.

2. Cut the roasted bell pepper into a large dice and add to the bowl of kale along with the roasted tomatoes, olives, feta (if using), and half of the cooked pasta.

3. Toss with about a third of the pesto and taste for seasoning.

1. Toss the remaining cooked pasta with half of the remaining pesto. Transfer to a tiffin (or other small container) and serve with the remaining 1 cup of cherry tomatoes and the reserved red pepper on the side. (Add a piece of fruit and a frozen yogurt pack or string cheese to round out the lunch box.)

2. Reserve the remaining pesto in glass jar (or other container) in the refrigerator for another use.