Burst Tomato Penne with Kale

Hi! Today’s post is a quick and easy vegetarian dinner option that is so, so delicious and super healthful. This recipe is pretty close to my spaghetti squash with tomatoes and zucchini, but it’s a bit more indulgent and not gluten free. The combination of tomatoes, tomato paste, kale, minced onions and garlic, italian herbs and fresh basil is simmered with parmesan rind and then topped with grated parmesan and fresh basil. If you follow me on Instagram then you know this photo is one of my most liked, and it’s of this recipe!

Burst Tomato Penne with Kale

$0.80 per serving, $4.81 for 6

1/4 onion- $0.06

~one pint of grape tomatoes -$2.47

1/2 a can of tomato paste- $0.33

previously frozen kale- $1.28

basil leaves- $0.67

Pantry items: parmesan rind (ask for it at the cheese counters, sometimes it’s free), salt, pepper, garlic, italian seasoning


Start by chopping your onions and garlic, put them in a pan with Italian seasoning and some olive oil and turn the heat on to get them softening. While they’re softening, wash your tomatoes and start cutting them into halves.


When your onions and garlic are softened, add half a can of tomato paste and stir it to coat your onion and garlic. Then, add in your tomatoes and get them heated up, and squish them to let their juice and seeds come out and contribute to your sauce. Once they are heated, pop in your parmesan rind and kale, as well as about a quarter cup of pasta water to help bind everything together.


Let everything simmer together while your pasta finishes cooking (I like to use penne, but use whatever you have on hand!). Your extra water you added to the sauce will cook out and everything will be delicious and melded together.


Turn off the heat and add a handful of basil leaves to the pan and stir them in. Drain your pasta well. Remove your parmesan rind, and scoop all of your sauce into your pasta pot and mix everything together!


To serve, put in a bowl or on a plate and top generously with parmesan and an extra basil leaf if available! Enjoy- this recipe also is great frozen and reheated.


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