20 Minute Steak and Mushroom Penne with Walnut Kale Pesto

Tender, hearty steak on top of penne and mushrooms and topped with a walnut kale pesto makes a quick but elegant weeknight meal

In true Michigan fashion, upon our return from our incredible Florida vacation last week we were welcomed with a foot of snow that shut down much of the state. In preparation for the storm, I rushed to the store to pick up some essentials since we had cleaned our fridge out pretty good the week before our trip.

Snow had already started accumulating by the time I left work and after a quick stop at the store I made it home safe to find Jay passed out on the couch. Instead of flying and returning the day before like I did, he chose to drive to Florida and back and was just getting home. The last 8 hours of his trip held nothing but rain and snow making for some brutal road conditions. Needless to say, neither of us wanted to spend time much time in the kitchen.

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We’re not usually big steak people, unless it’s a special occasion and we want to splurge on a nice cut, but the grocery store had a good deal on sirloin and the steaks looked pretty good so I picked up two to make a couple meals with. The best part is they cook quick and there’s no waiting around for the insides to heat through.

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My favorite part of this meal (besides how quick it came together) was the walnut kale pesto. I rough chopped each element to add some texture to the dish, but you could certainly use a food processor to combine everything.

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I had three pans going on the stove top which made it possible to cook everything in 20 minutes. And I mean 20 minutes FLAT including hand chopping the pesto. For being incredibly simple, this meal was in every way satisfying and even a little elegant for a weeknight dinner.

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20 Minute Steak and Mushroom Penne with Walnut Kale Pesto

  • 8 Oz Whole Grain Penne
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups Portobello Mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 Oz. Sirloin
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 Cups Kale
  • 8 Walnut Halves
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan, grated
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 Tsp Olive Oil
  • 5-6 Basil Leaves

Preheat the oven to 425. Set out two pans on the stovetop with one over medium low and the other over medium high. Add water to a large pot and place on a burner over high heat and salt the water.

Add the olive oil to the medium low pan and add the mushrooms. Wait 2-3 minutes then add salt and pepper to season.

While the mushrooms are cooking, get started on the pesto by finely chopping or grating the garlic cloves over a large cutting board. Next, place the kale and the basil over the garlic and start to chop. When the leaves are finely chopped, add the walnuts and Parmesan and continue to chop everything until it reaches the desired texture. Mix in the olive oil to bring everything together and set aside.

When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the pasta. While the pasta cooks, season the outside of the steak with salt, pepper, and a little olive oil and place the steak in the pan set over medium high heat. Let the steak cook for 2-3 minutes then flip and place the pan in the oven for 3-4 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and set the steak on a cutting board to rest for 2 minutes.

Drain the pasta and combine with the mushrooms. Slice the steak against the grain and serve on top of the pasta along with the pesto.