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Sauteed Kale Penne with Toasted Walnuts & Fresh Parmesan

I like to grab life by the cajones, real nice and tight like a nice supportive pair of boxer briefs.

You know, only less hot. Err, creepy. Err, creepy hot….?

Sauteed Kale Penne with Toasted Walnuts & Fresh Parmesan - She Eats
When it comes to new experiences, I’m a total yay sayer. Give ’em hell and go get ’em!

Wanna go for a hike up that poorly marked back-country trail? Yes.

Wanna spontaneously drive down to Nevada and get lost in the desert? Oh yes.

Wanna hole up in that shack over there, chow down for the next 5 hours and drink our weight in whiskey? Helllllllla yes.

There’s not a lot of things I won’t do in this life if given the opportunity. I want to experience it all. And I figure we only get so much time to do all the things before someone calls us home. And by home, I mean a land where the cheese never stands alone, carbs never off-load on my ass, and everyone around me looks like Christ Pratt. 

Come to mama.

So, I figure, welcome to 2017 – let’s do all the things!

Sauteed Kale Penne with Toasted Walnuts & Fresh Parmesan - She Eats
Sauteed Kale Penne with Toasted Walnuts & Fresh Parmesan - She Eats
That being said, there are things I’m resistant to. Things I avoid. Things that I stop, drop (my drink) and run from.

…Okay, let’s be honest. I never drop my drink. Or run. But you get the idea.

Like lying about my age. In fact, I’m proudly turning 36 again this October. Amazing, right?

Or wait. For anything. Impatience is one of my many virtues.

Or stealing fruit off a neighbour’s tree… Okay, I’ve totally done that.

Sauteed Kale Penne with Toasted Walnuts & Fresh Parmesan - She Eats
And I emphatically resist any kind of fad diet. Or diet, period. I believe we should move our bodies more than we watch TV so we can eat whole foods, as unprocessed as possible, and make time to sit down with a good glass of vino, good company and enjoy our meals.

…You know, after we roll the pasta by hand, pick the herbs from our roof top garden and milk the cows back in the pasture. Which I love doing, by the way. There’s something so nourishing about living off the land. Something real. Something fulfilling. Something whole.

Unfortunately life doesn’t always play out like a scene from the 1800’s in pastoral England (wouldn’t that be just the best?!). At least not in my 480 square feet of the world. I run a full time business, have a cookbook being released world-wide in just under a month, work as an actress, am writing a science-fiction novel, go to the gym 5 days a week and am attempting to read no less than 42 books this year. Oh yeah, and friends and family. Apparently I’m supposed to see them too.

Sauteed Kale Penne with Toasted Walnuts & Fresh Parmesan - She Eats
So when I get the chance to try a product that makes my life easier and faster – without sacrificing my principals about quality ingredients – I get pretty damn excited.

Let’s keep it real here: I love making pasta by hand and growing my own vegetables, but that just ain’t happening on a Monday night for me.

What is happening on a Monday night though is Chickapea Pasta. A gluten-free pasta (you heard it here first folks, I’m eating gluten-free pasta and enjoying it) made from only 2 ingredients: Organic chickpeas and lentils. Bam.

It’s also Non-GMO, vegan and kosher friendly, has no preservatives, nothing artificial, no added sugar and it tastes shockingly good. If you’re the kind of person who cares about nutritional facts, a single serving also has 23 grams of protein, 40% of our daily iron intake and 40% of our daily recommended fibre.

Mouth-wise, it’s a touch chewier than wheat pasta, nutty in flavour, and I’m completely hooked. Which is why I’ve partnered with Chickapea and a group of pretty talented and delicious bloggers over the coming months to create delicious, seasonal, healthful recipes for you. And also so I can take in more calories from wine. That’s legit, right?

If my body doesn’t try to kill me and I have any say in the matter, I’ll likely never be meat-free (again), dairy-free, fat-free (just ask my hips), sugar-free, or gluten-free. But I can still appreciate the healthiness and deliciousness of this pasta. No word of a lie – I’m keeping a couple reserve boxes on hand in the cupboard for quick, healthy, delicious weeknight meals.

Sauteed Kale Penne with Toasted Walnuts & Fresh Parmesan - She Eats
I’m a firm believer in the place where everyone looks like Chris Pratt; I’ve seen it in my dreams! And I’m also a firm believer that when you’re cooking, the finished dish is entirely dependent on the yum factor of the whole ingredients you use. Because of that, most of my recipes on the blog take a bit of time to prepare. That ain’t the case with this one.

This recipe for sauteed kale Chickapea penne with bright lemon, toasted walnuts & fresh grated parmesan cheese is ready in less than 20 minutes and has all the awe-inspiring health benefits I listed above. If you want to off-set those though, just enjoy the entire box of penne to yourself and drink 4 glasses of Chardonnay – that should even things out.

Either way, it tastes fantastic and fresh.

Kind of like how life’s cajones feel in my hot little hands.

Go get ’em, tiger.

Sauteed Kale Penne with Toasted Walnuts & Fresh Parmesan




Yield 4 servings


  • 1 box Chickapea Penne Pasta
  • 1/3 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
  • 1 anchovy fillet, roughly chopped
  • 6 C kale, destemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon for juice and zest
  • 1/3 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp dried chili flakes
  • 1/3 C toasted walnuts
  • Coarse sea salt + fresh cracked black pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook until pasta is al dente, approx 5-7 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. As the pasta cooks, pour olive oil into a large frying pan over medium heat.
  3. When hot but not smoking, toss in the garlic and anchovy. Saute until the anchovy disintegrates and the garlic smells yummy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Toss in the kale, season well with salt and pepper and mix well. Cook until tender, about 6 minutes.
  5. Throw the drained and cooked pasta into the pan and top with lemon juice and zest. Stir to coat and warm through.
  6. Once everything is well combined, mix in the parmesan cheese, dried chili flakes and walnuts. Enjoy!


Chickapea Pasta tends to froth more starches than wheat pasta so you may want to turn down the water a degree or two once it boils.

Disclosure of Material Connection: ChickaPea Pasta did provide me test and review product at no cost and I was compensated for the work I did developing a recipe and taking the pictures & video for this post. Thank you Chickapea for supporting my blog! Regardless, I only recommend, giveaway or share products or services I love, use personally and believe will be good for my readers. All opinions, words and information here are entirely accurate and a reflection of my true experience and were not influenced, in any way, by the above mentioned products or companies. Opinions and views are my own. Because that’s how I roll, yo. I’ve never been one to shut my mouth – I’m not going to start now.

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  • sue | theviewfromgreatisland
    January 19, 2017 at 8:42 AM

    Kristy this is a stunning post ~ I especially love the blend of colors in your pasta dish, it looks so luxurious and inviting. I can’t wait to try chickapea pasta!

  • Robyn Gleason
    January 19, 2017 at 8:49 AM

    Look at that gorgeousness! Growing up did you ever imagine that you’d be freaking out over the beauty of green veggies and pasta? lol. I love what you’ve done here, Kristy. Texture, superb flavour and easy too – perfect!

    • Kristy Gardner
      January 19, 2017 at 9:15 AM

      I most certainly didn’t Robyn! Growing up I freaked over cheese and cookies. Which I guess I still do. But there’s something so PERFECT about seasonal veggies and pasta together. I’ll take those any day over cookies. Though I might just squish the cheese into the pasta. Because…. cheese 😉
      Kristy Gardner recently published…Cozy Maple Whiskey SourMy Profile

  • Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert
    January 19, 2017 at 8:53 AM

    Wow this looks absolutely fantastic! LOVE your video too. Chickapea Pasta is amazing!

  • Jenny
    January 19, 2017 at 8:56 AM

    Your photos are just so stunning! I’ll be adding this into the weekly rotation stat! Thanks so much!

  • Taylor
    January 19, 2017 at 10:00 AM

    Kristy, this pasta looks absolutely fantastic!!! I feel you on the fad diets, and honestly Chickapea pasta is one of my faves not because it’s gluten free or high protein, but because it is simply good for you and ready in a pinch! The nutty flavours pair so well with garlic and earthy greens that you’ve combined here. I can’t WAIT to try this. So perfect for those busy weeknights when I have NO IDEA what I’m gonna make! And girl, I thought I was busy. You are juggling so much!!! But sometimes it’s better that way right? 😉

    • Kristy Gardner
      January 19, 2017 at 11:11 AM

      HA – those are almost all my weeknights Taylor! Though you’re right – Chickapea is my new go-to for quick meals. I’m not the kinda gal who worries too much about nutrition (I prefer to just eat a ton of veggies, protein and pasta lol) but I LOVE that these noodles are so good for us. Just 2 ingredients, can you believe it?? I’m glad you like the recipe – please enjoy miss!
      Kristy Gardner recently published…Spiced Cauliflower Steaks with Lemon, Herbs & Toasted AlmondsMy Profile

  • Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine
    January 19, 2017 at 2:26 PM

    I love all the flavors in this dish! And how easy it is. Love that the pasta is so high protein so it can be a complete meal with so few ingredients!

  • lindsay Cotter
    January 20, 2017 at 5:56 AM

    this pasta completes me! and i so agree, the fact that this product makes our life easier and healthier in the kitchen is a win win. Plus it rocks my socks off…especially with chardonnay to pair. YUP!

  • Kristen @ The Endless Meal
    January 20, 2017 at 7:54 AM

    This is such a beautiful dish! I love all the black kale in here. Delicious and pretty!
    Kristen @ The Endless Meal recently published…Mocha Nut Winter Smoothie BowlMy Profile

  • nocrumbsleft
    January 20, 2017 at 11:48 AM

    I absolutely love this! I’m such a fan of Chickapea Pasta. I’v been gluten-free for a long time and I think it’s without a doubt the best gluten-free pasta available. Kale, Walnuts, Parmesan and lentil pasta…what is not to love?

    • Kristy Gardner
      January 20, 2017 at 5:39 PM

      I love that we come together on this! I’m NOT gluten-free at all – mainly because most gluten-free ingredients have disappointed me. But Chickapea Pasta exceed my expectations and I’m hooked. Definitely keeping this in the pantry! Thank you for taking the time to say hey 🙂
      Kristy Gardner recently published…Cooking With Cocktails Available for Pre-OrderMy Profile

  • Justine | JustineCelina.com
    January 22, 2017 at 11:50 AM

    As someone who’s recently developed an intolerance to gluten, this pasta sounds right up my alley! While I love rice noodles for Asian dishes, I’ve never really explored the world of gluten free pasta alternatives in depth — and I love the added kick of protein these provide (I happen to love chickpeas, there was a ton of them in my last recipe!). It looks like Chickpea pasta is available at my favourite local health food store so I’ll have to pop by and grab some! I absolutely love what you’ve done with this dish and the photos have such a rich, comforting vibe to them. 🙂 I would happily hole up with you for 5 hours, eat this delicious sauteed kale penne and drink our weight in wine. 😉 Cheers, Kristy!
    Justine | JustineCelina.com recently published…AN ECLECTIC, GLOBALLY INSPIRED ARRANGEMENTMy Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      February 18, 2017 at 11:20 AM

      Oh then you’d LOVE it Justine. I’m sorry to hear about your gluten intolerance. That’s awful and frustrating – thank goodness for companies like Chickapea that make excellent gluten-free alternatives. I’ve tried a few other brands and they were yucky, to be frank. But I’m a total regular pasta, gluten eater and I’ve swapped out most of that pasta, for Chickapea. It’s so good. Let’s share and drink our weight in wine 😉 Cheers friend!
      Kristy Gardner recently published…Cooking With Cocktails Blog TourMy Profile

  • Jenny | The Baking Skillet
    February 15, 2017 at 8:56 AM

    Love the simplicity of this recipe. I am always on the look out for good kale recipe because I have trouble eating it in salad form!! Thanks for sharing

    • Kristy Gardner
      February 18, 2017 at 11:20 AM

      Thank you so much Jenny! I can dig that – kale salad isn’t for everyone. But sauteed up with some lemon, cheese and pasta??? Who WOULDN’T love that? haha… Cheers to you and thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂
      Kristy Gardner recently published…Cooking With Cocktails Blog TourMy Profile