Kale & Ricotta Pasta Sauce


This healthy pasta sauce is made with Cavolo Nero (kale) and delicious fresh ricotta cheese. It’s an easy, filling mid-week dinner recipe, and the best bit is …. it’s full of seasonal nutrition without compromising flavour!

This kale sauce is simple to make but packs a strong punch of flavour and nutrients. Top it with whipped ricotta, lemon zest and black pepper.

Serves 4-6


  • 1 large bunch kale leaves
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 150ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 200g fresh full fat ricotta
  • 400g paccheri or other pasta of your choice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Zest of half a lemon to garnish and serve


  1. Start by detaching the kale leaf from the stem and discard the stem as it is the bitter part of kale and often unpalatable. This is really easy to do by hand, by pinching the end of the stem and running your fingers upwards to separate the leave from the stem. Or use a knife and slice off the leaf part you want to keep and discard the stem.  For this reason you want to avoid buying kale that has already been sliced as it often contains the bitter spine.  Wash the leaves and set aside
  2. Fill a large saucepan with boiling water from the kettle, plunge the kale and garlic into the water and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the kale is really soft (kale needs longer to cook as it is a coarser leaf than spinach).
  3. Once the kale is cooked, removed from the pan with a slotted spoon and squeeze as much of the water out as possible and set aside.
  4. Then add the pasta into the same water you cooked the kale and bring it back to the boil.  You can use any pasta of your choice, this recipe is particularly exceptional with penne, rigatoni and paccheri. Cook the pasta until it is al dente and then strain the pasta into your serving bowl.
  5. Meanwhile, add the cooked kale and garlic to a blender and blend until smooth. Keep blending on low speed while gradually pouring in the olive oil.
  6. Add 150g of ricotta to the blender and blend. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep the remaining ricotta for serving.
  7. Add the sauce to your pasta and mix well.
  8. Top with ricotta and some black pepper. Enjoy!


© Image and recipe by Julia Ostro

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