Orecchiette with Wilted Spinach, Kale and Toasted Pine Nuts

Orecchiette with Spinach and Kale | Fork Knife Swoon

The pup and I were tucked inside for most of today, escaping the rain. The Honey is away for work again this week, which makes it three out of the last four weeks that he’s been gone. So as not to spend too much time missing him (especially in this snuggle-inspiring weather), I’ve been Spring cleaning, baking up a storm, and planning all sorts of lovely new features for the site.

Orecchiette with Spinach and Kale | Fork Knife Swoon

When it’s just me, I tend to fall back on classic pasta dishes that cook quickly and make for easy leftovers. Craving something warm and comforting today, I whipped up this simple pasta dish for lunch; little orecchiette pasta tossed with fresh spinach and kale leaves in a quick olive oil and garlic sauce. Adorned with a sprinkling of toasted pine nuts and a generous amount of Parmesan, this dish makes for a healthy and flavorful Spring meal.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Orecchiette with Spinach and Kale | Fork Knife Swoon

Orecchiette with Wilted Spinach, Kale and Toasted Pine Nuts

  • Author: Fork Knife Swoon
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x


A quick weeknight recipe for Orecchiette with Wilted Spinach, Kale and Toasted Pine Nuts, ready in 15 minutes.


  • 1/2 lb orecchiette pasta
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 cup fresh kale, ripped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions (usually about 8-10 minutes).
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium-heat. Add the pine nuts and toast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add the olive oil, butter, garlic and onion to the skillet, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 minutes until the onion begins to soften.
  4. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta and reserved liquid to the skillet along with the spinach and kale leaves. Stir to combine until the spinach and kale have softened and begin to wilt.
  5. Toss the pasta with the pine nuts and Parmesan and season generously with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with additional Parmesan.
  • Category: Pasta


Leave a Rating & Review

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. 12.19.13
    Justine said:

    I found this recipe on Pinterest a few months ago and it’s definitely one of our favorites! So quick and easy and delicious! Definitely part of our dinner routine!

    • 12.23.13
      Laura said:

      Hi Justine! I’m so glad you and your family enjoy the recipe!

  2. 12.2.13
    Stacey said:

    Your recipe was delicious! We served it with homemade duck sausage and a great bottle of Sangiovese! Thank you!

  3. 4.18.13
    Meri said:

    This looks like such a great spring pasta dish and it finally gets me cooking kale! I shared the deliciousness with my readers here: http://seektobemerry.blogspot.com/2013/04/spring-eats.html Cooking this tonight, thanks for the inspiration!

    • 4.28.13
      Laura said:

      Thanks Meri! I’m glad you liked it!

  4. 4.8.13
    Dina said:

    great spring pasta recipe!

    • 4.10.13
      Laura said:

      Thanks, Dina! This is my new fav combination.

  5. 4.7.13

    This sounds amazing! I always love tossing greens into pasta. Kale in particular goes so well with parm.

    • 4.10.13
      Laura said:

      Thank you, Grace! They are so easy and quick too!

  6. 4.6.13

    OMG, this pasta looks divine! I love mixing kale and parmesan, they make such a great combo!

    • 4.10.13
      Laura said:

      Thanks, Yvonne! I also love how the healthy benefits of kale and spinach “cancel out” my heaping scoops of parmesan, or at least that’s what I’ve convinced myself!

Hi! I'm Laura, the food-obsessed cook, writer, and photographer behind Fork Knife Swoon, where you'll find mostly sweet, seasonal recipes and stories from my Northern Virginia kitchen.

All photography and content copyright Laura Bolton ©2021, and may not be used without permission.