Fusilli Pasta with Collard Green Pesto & Garbanzo Beans

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

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I made this the other night for the same group of guests that were served my Caprese Lasagna Rolls.


I felt it was different enough from the bright red lasagna rolls and also mild enough in its flavors that a potentially very conservative palate should not object.  Regular pesto doesn’t seem to be very controversial so why should a collard greens version raise objections?  And look at the color of the pesto!


Seriously.  That is what it looks like.

This could NOT be easier to pull off so I hope you try it.  I used toasted almonds in this but you could substitute pecans or walnuts or pine nuts (risking pine mouth!) or pistachios – maybe even cashews.  The kind of nuts & even the kind of cheese you use in pesto can be very flexible.  This makes a LOT of pesto so be prepared for leftovers.  You can use the pesto as a sandwich spread or on a collard greens pesto pizza – like this!


Fusilli Pasta with Collard Green Pesto & Garbanzo Beans


1 lb pasta

1 (15 oz) can of garbanzo beans (chick peas)

2 bunches of collard greens

4 garlic cloves

1/2 cup olive oil (or so)

1/3 cup grated Parmesan (plus extra for garnish)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

Parsley or basil as garnish (or micro arugula!)



Boil a large pot of water (large enough for the pasta).  Cut the rib out of the collard greens.


Submerge the collard greens in boiling water for 4 minutes or so – until they are soft & bright green.  Remove them from the boiling water (reserving the now green water) & drain under cold water.  Squeeze them dry.  Take about 1/4 of the collard greens & roll them into a tube.


Slice that tube of greens up & set aside.  Put the rest of the greens in the bowl of your food processor.

Toast the nuts in a dry pan for about 3 minutes being careful not to burn them.  Add them, the nuts, and the garlic, cheese and S&P to the food processor & pulse until it is all chopped up.  Then, with the processor running, drizzle the olive oil in until the pesto is the thickness you desire.  You might use more or less olive oil.  You can even add some water to thin it, if you like.  Adjust the S&P.



Cook the pasta according to directions in the green collard water.  In the last minute or two of the pasta cooking, add the drained garbanzo beans & the chopped collard greens.  When done, drain & toss with SOME of the pesto.  This recipe makes quite a lot of pesto – so mix it into the pasta in increments until all the pasta is well coated.  Serve it up with extra grated Parmesan & plenty of freshly ground pepper – and maybe some obnoxiously expensive micro arugula – as I did.  Or just chop up some basil or parsley & sprinkle it on there.


One thought on “Fusilli Pasta with Collard Green Pesto & Garbanzo Beans

  1. Pingback: Lavash Wrap with Arugula, Avocado & Whipped Feta | Delightful-Delicious-Delovely

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