Ziti with Salmon and Kale Pesto

ziti with salmon and kale pesto

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Pan seared salmon served with ziti and kale pesto for a tasty and healthy pasta meal.


  • 10 ozs ziti
  • 12 ozs wild salmon fillet
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp champagne vinegar (other light vinegar is OK)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 4 cups tightly packed kale leaves, stems removed
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted (pine nuts or walnuts would work, too)
  • generous pinch red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Add the kale and garlic to a food processor, coarsely chopping to create enough room for the other ingredients.
  2. Add the pumpkin seeds, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, cheese, and olive oil, and puree until it comes to a nice smooth consistency. Set the pesto aside.
  3. Put water on to boil as you make kale pesto. Cook the ziti according to package directions, and toss with about 3 tablespoons of the kale pesto. Cover and keep warm on the stove while you cook the salmon.
  4. As the pasta cooks, coming the olive oil, rosemary, lemon juice and champagne vinegar in a large bowl.
  5. When the pasta is almost done, rinse the salmon and pat dry. Place the salmon briefly in the marinade flesh side down, then turn it over to marinade for a few minutes skin side down.
  6. Start cooking the salmon right after tossing the ziti with the kale pesto. Heat the canola oil on medium high in a nonstick skillet. When the pan is hot, add the salmon skin side down. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes without moving the salmon. After this initial cooking time, carefully turn the salmon over with a spatula.
  7. Sear the salmon for 2 more minutes, flesh side down. Turn the salmon back over to the skin side. Depending on the salmon thickness and how you like it, the salmon may be ready now or need 2 more minutes cooking skin side down.
  8. When the salmon is done, remove it to a platter. Break the salmon into serving portions.
  9. Plate a serving of the pasta, topped with a portion of serving. Pass additional kale pesto at the table, and enjoy!

Keywords: salmon with pesto, kale pesto and fish

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