Easy weeknight pasta! This lemony rigatoni pasta with kale and shallots is delicious, light, plus, quick and easy to make any night of the week.
About this lemony rigatoni pasta with kale and shallots
This pasta is full of my favorite things (hello kale, parmesan, and pine nuts) and dressed in a light and tasty lemon dressing. So delicious and satisfying. ♡
Because a good pasta dish is as weeknight-friendly as it gets, and the people in my life are pasta maniacs, we serve it up on steady rotation and this lemony rigatoni pasta with kale is our go-to. It’s simple and fresh in the best way, made quickly with easy ingredients.
What you’ll need to make lemony rigatoni pasta
- Rigatoni pasta (or penne)
- Olive oil
- Fresh kale leaves
- Parmesan Reggiano
- Pine nuts
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
How to make this weeknight-friendly rigatoni pasta with kale
- Fill a large stove-top pot with water to the halfway mark and bring to a boil. Add a glug of olive oil and a generous pinch of kosher salt. Add pasta and cook according to the package directions. Reserve two tablespoons of pasta water before draining.
- While the pasta is cooking, in a large pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and sauté the sliced shallots until golden and just crisping at the edges (stirring every minute or two) — about 8-10 minutes.
- Stir chopped kale into the shallots and season with a couple of generous pinches of salt and freshly ground pepper, plus an extra drizzle of olive oil. Cook for 2 additional minutes—until the kale is tender and reduced by about half.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk the reserved pasta water with olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice until smooth.
- Drain the rigatoni and return it to the pot. Stir in the dressing, additional salt and pepper, kale and shallots, grated parmesan, and toasted pine nuts.
- Serve with parmesan.
If you try this lemony rigatoni pasta with kale and shallots, let me know in the comments below. I love to hear from you!
Want more weeknight-friendly, meatless recipes?
Lemony Rigatoni Pasta with Kale and Shallots
- 500 grams dry rigatoni pasta cooked until desired tenderness
- 5 shallots peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 6 cups chopped fresh kale ~5-6 large kale leaves – washed, stems removed and chopped up into small bites
- 1/4 cup pine nuts lightly toasted in a dry pan for a few minutes on medium heat
- 1/2 cup parmesan reggiano finely grated, plus more for serving
- olive oil as needed
- kosher salt as needed
- freshly ground pepper as needed
Lemony Pasta Dressing
- 2 tbsp reserved pasta water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- juice of one lemon
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta to desired tenderness.
- While the pasta is cooking, add a glug of olive oil to a large pan over medium heat. Add thinly sliced shallots and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring every minute or two until they are golden and crisping at the edges.
- To the shallots, add the chopped kale, a couple of pinches of salt and pepper, plus an additional drizzle of olive oil, and gently stir to combine. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. The kale will become tender and reduce by half.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup of olive oil, and the juice of one lemon.
- Drain rigatoni and return it to the pot.
- Add oil/lemon dressing to the rigatoni, plus a few generous pinches of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir until the pasta is well coated.
- Add in the sautéed kale and shallots, pine nuts, and grated parmesan. Stir to combine. Be sure to taste and add additional salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve with additional grated parmesan.