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A bowl full of orecchiette pasta topped with wilted spinach, kale, toasted pine nuts, grated parmesan, and breadcrumbs.

Orecchiette with Wilted Spinach, Kale and Toasted Pine Nuts

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  • Author: Laura Bolton - Fork Knife Swoon
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta, Savory
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American, Italian-inspired
  • Diet: Vegetarian


An easy, flavorful orecchiette pasta recipe with spinach and kale. This healthy, comforting pasta is full of greens, toasted pine nuts, and parmesan. Ideal for weeknights, this pasta is ready in under 30 mins. Vegetarian and gluten-free friendly.


  • 1/2 lb orecchiette pasta
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup plain panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • half of a medium sweet or yellow onion, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 cups (packed) fresh spinach
  • 2 cups (packed) fresh kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously and add the pasta. Cook al dente according to package directions, 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. Return the skillet to the burner, and heat 1/2 Tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the panko and stir to combine. Cook for a few minutes, stirring often, until golden. Transfer to a small plate or bowl and set aside.
  4. Add the remaining olive oil, along with the butter to the skillet, and return to medium heat. Once the butter melts, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes until the onion begins to soften.
  5. Add the garlic, and continue cooking for 2-3 more minutes until fragrant and softened.
  6. Add the spinach and kale leaves, and stir to combine.
  7. Meanwhile, drain the pasta. Add to the skillet, and stir to combine until the spinach and kale have softened and begin to wilt.
  8. Toss the pasta with the toasted pine nuts, breadcrumbs, and Parmesan. Season generously with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately with additional Parmesan. Enjoy!!


  • Make it gluten-free: simply use a gluten-free pasta of your choice. We love the brand Jovial!