Kale Pesto with Farro Pasta and Shrimp

Image of Yasmin Fahr
Rated 5.0 based on 5 customer reviews
Kale Pesto with Farro Pasta and Shrimp
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 lemon juice
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup grated Parmiggiano-Reggiano cheese
  • ¼ cup raw unsalted almonds
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 pound farro penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 16 peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Divide pasta into four plates and serve shrimp on top of pasta.
Mealthy tip:

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.


5.0out of 5 Stars

(5 Reviews)

How would you rate this recipe?

What others are saying

Image of Jacqulyne de Jardins

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.

Image of Sam Dalton

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.

Image of Sheila Long

Sheila Long says:

Substituted farro for quinoa instead! Next time I'll try this with chicken instead of shrimp. Love the kale pesto too.

Image of Sarah Gray

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.

Image of Steven Gomes

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.