The Whole Vegetable: Sophie Gordon’s lazy day pasta and garlic kale sauce recipe

A pinch of chilli and lemon zest really brings this to life. You could try adding another vegetable to the sauce if you don’t have, or like, mushrooms.

pasta and garlic kale sauce
Issy Croker


1 large bunch of kale, any variety, roughly chopped (cavolo nero is also great)
1 large shallot or white onion, finely chopped
6 cloves of garlic: 4 crushed or finely chopped, 2 thinly sliced
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp dijon mustard
4 tbsp white wine
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 lemon, juiced, plus a dash of zest
Salt and pepper
Approx 340g dried pasta of choice
200g mushrooms, thinly sliced

  1. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Add your chopped kale and cook for 5-7 minutes, until wilted and cooked through. You can also steam it. Once cooked, drain and blanch in cold water briefly to stop the cooking process.
  2. Transfer the kale to a blender and add your chopped shallot or onion, the crushed or finely chopped cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, nutritional yeast, mustard, white wine, chilli flakes, lemon juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper and blend until you have a relatively smooth but thick sauce mixture. You can add water or a little more oil to loosen if necessary. Season to taste (adding more nutritional yeast if desired), then pop to one side while you make the rest of the dish.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and add your desired pasta. Cook until al dente, about 10-12 minutes. Drain, then put back into the pot and cover.
  4. While your pasta is cooking, heat up about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan. Once hot, add the sliced cloves of garlic and sauté until golden and fragrant. Make sure you stir frequently to prevent them burning.
  5. Add your sliced mushrooms to the garlic and sweat until soft. You can add a dash more olive oil or water to the pan if it is a little dry. Season with salt and pepper. The mushrooms will sweat and wilt very quickly. Pour in your kale sauce and heat up over a low heat, again stirring frequently. Heat until cooked through.
  6. Pour the sauce over the pasta in the pot and stir well. You can do this over a low heat if your pasta has cooled too much. Season with extra salt and pepper, chilli flakes and olive oil to taste. Dish up accordingly and enjoy!

Now buy the book and try all the recipes

the whole vegetable
The Whole Vegetable
by Sophie Gordon will be published by Penguin Michael Joseph on 6 January, price £25. To pre-order a copy for £21.25 until 16 January, go to or call 020 3176 2937. Free UK delivery on orders over £20.