Kale Pesto with Farro Pasta and Shrimp
- 2 cups packed lacinato kale leaves
- 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
- 4 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup fresh juice from 2 lemons
- ¼ cup and 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- ½ grated Parmiggiano-Reggiano cheese
- ¼ cup raw unsalted almonds
- salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 1 pound penne farro pasta
- 16 peeled and deveined shrimp
- 1 teaspoon dried red chile flakes
- Fill a food processor with kale, basil, garlic, and lemon juice. Pulse until leaves are broken down to a dark green pulp, about 10 times. Drizzle ¼ cup olive oil while pulsing; scraping down sides, until combined. Add cheese, almonds, and season well with salt; pulse until almonds are broken down and it becomes a cohesive color with a smooth texture. Adjust seasoning as needed.
- Bring 5 quarts water to a rolling boil; season with salt until it tastes like the sea. Add pasta and return to a roiling boil; cook until noodles are tender, about 9 minutes, or according to package instructions. Drain and toss immediately with pesto.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan until shimmering. Season shrimp with salt, pepper, and chile flakes. Add to pan; cook until bottom half is no longer translucent and becomes a pink color, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until pink all over and lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
- Divide pasta into four plates and serve shrimp on top of pasta.
You may substitute farro for traditional pastas with grains such as brown rice, chickpea or quinoa. Freeze leftover pesto for later use or an impromptu dressing.
What others are saying
Steven Gomes says:
Used traditional pasta and served it with large gulf shrimp. So good. The kale pesto with almonds was unique, but I really enjoyed it.
Sarah Gray says:
Wasn't able to find farrow pasta but brown rice penne worked perfectly. I love the kale pesto too, such a great spin on the traditional. This was delicious with shrimp.
Sheila Long says:
Substituted farro for quinoa instead! Next time I'll try this with chicken instead of shrimp. Love the kale pesto too.
Sam Dalton says:
This was a delicious dish that was really easy to make. I skipped the shrimp and added cubed chicken instead. I really enjoyed the kale pesto and will likely make it again in the future.
Jacqulyne de Jardins says:
Could not locate farro pasta in my area, but made this with regular penne pasta. The kale is pretty good in this pesto and the almonds were a nice touch. First time making a pesto like this. It was however a bit more bitter than traditional pesto.