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The Mad Agriculture Journal

Published on

June 20, 2024

Written by

Jane Cavagnero

Photos by

Jane Cavagnero

This vibrant and flavorful pasta dish brings together the best of fresh, seasonal ingredients with the comforting richness of homemade pesto. Featuring Patagonia Provisions Pasta, this recipe is not only delicious but also sustainable, made with climate-beneficial Kernza® grain, a wheatlike perennial. The homemade pesto, made from a blend of basil, mint, kale, parsley, and toasted pine nuts, adds a burst of herby goodness, while the golden, crispy leeks and fresh snap peas provide delightful texture and color. This dish is perfect for a light summer dinner and can be served hot or at room temperature as a pasta salad.

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Ingredients (Serves 4):

  • 1 box of Patagonia Provisions Pasta


  • 3 oz basil or 2 packed cups

  • 4 sprigs mint

  • 4 lacinato kale leaves, stems removed

  • 1 cup parsley, stems removed

  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts

  • ½ cup + 1 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice

  • Parmesan cheese to taste (about a 1-inch chunk)

To Top:

  • 1 leek, sliced into 2-inch strips

  • Cooking oil (e.g., canola)

  • Ricotta salata

  • Fresh snap peas

  • Maldon salt

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  1. Prepare the Pesto:

    • Combine basil, mint, kale, parsley, pine nuts, olive oil, salt, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add additional olive oil or a splash of water as needed.

    • You can prepare the pesto day-of or up to 3 days ahead of time.

  2. Prepare the Leeks:

    • Remove the dark green section of the leek. Slice the leek in half lengthwise and rinse thoroughly.

    • To julienne the leek, cut each half crosswise into 2-inch sections. Working with one section at a time, finely slice it parallel to the direction of the leaves to create thin strips.

    • In a medium frying pan over medium-high heat, add cooking oil until the pan is coated. Once heated (test with a drop of water; if it sizzles, it’s ready), add the julienned leeks. Stir to avoid burning.

    • Cook until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes, then remove from heat and place on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.

  3. Prepare the Peas:

    • Shell half of the peas.

    •  Slice the remaining snap peas thinly on a strong bias to create thin strips for garnish.

  4. Prepare the Ricotta Salata:

    • Thinly slice or grate ricotta salata to top.

  5. Cook the Pasta:

    • Boil water with salt and cook Patagonia Provisions pasta as instructed on the package. While the pasta is boiling, collect about half a cup of pasta water.

    • Right before straining, add the shelled peas to soften (optional; they can also be used raw).

    • Strain the pasta and return it to the pot with half of the collected pasta water. Mix in the pesto until the pasta is fully coated. Add more pasta water as needed.

  6. Assemble the Dish:

    • Place the pasta on a serving platter or in a bowl.

    • Top with the prepared leeks, snap peas, and ricotta salata. Sprinkle with Maldon salt.

    • Drizzle with finishing olive oil if desired.

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