Kale pesto pasta will knock your socks off! We LOVE basil pesto, but in the winter months it is only a memory. Sophie was begging for some pesto, so we decided to experiment. She didn’t want just parsley or cilantro (my favorite). She wanted basil pesto, so I brainstormed and tried to figure out what would be the closest green. Arugula isn’t available in our neck of the woods, but the next best thing was kale. It turned out great!
What meat goes with Pesto Pasta
Pesto is the star of the show for us. We like to pair it with a light protein that won’t over power it. We usually use chicken or seafood, but I have put pesto on a steak and it was phenomenal. Tonight we used shrimp and scallops. They cook quickly and went very well with this kale pesto.
What type of pasta pairs well with pesto
That is personal preference. (For this dish I used the only thing in my pantry) We are all gluten free and I am grain free, so some nights we have multiple dishes. I prefer the miracle noodles. They have ZERO carbs and pick up the flavor of your sauce. You do have to use a little extra salt since they are unseasoned. They are also very easy! All you do is open the bag and rinse them for 2 minutes.
For the gluten free crowd, use a pasta that holds the sauce. Bowtie, shells, fettuccine or penne. The key is to get as much of the pesto to stick as possible. If you are making gluten free pasta, start the water first thing so the pasta will be done when the seafood is.
Is Pesto Pasta really healthy
Yes, pesto is packed with nutrients. Regardless of the green you use, it will be packed with vitamins and minerals. Using a quality extra virgin olive oil will actually help you absorb all the nutrients. Even though pesto is high in fat and calories, the nutritional trade off is worth it. Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. One serving of kale will give you:
- Vitamin A 200%
- Vitamin K 600%
- Vitamin C 120%
- Vitamin B6 9%
- Manganese 26%
- Calcium 9%
- Copper 10%
- Potassium 9%
- Protein 2.8 Grams
- Fiber 3.5 Grams
of the recommended daily value. Parsley, cilantro and basil are also packed with nutrients. So eat the pesto, you deserve it!
Since we are talking about the health of pesto, there is one more issue to address. The pasta…..Regular or gluten free pastas are going to add a carb load and more calories to the dish. Using either miracle noodles or zucchini zoodles will decrease both of those.
I am not trying to deter you from the ever loving pasta. I love pasta! Well, my mouth loves pasta, but my gut disagrees:( I simply want to point out the health aspect of traditional pasta vs low carb option.
So how do you make pesto
I’m glad you asked, let’s get started!
First start your pasta water if using traditional or gluten free pasta. You will want to drop the pasta the same time you start the seafood cooking so neither gets over done. Or rinse your miracle noodles so they will be ready.
Throw all your pesto ingredients, except the olive oil, in a food processor or blender. Turn it on and drizzle the olive oil in while it is processing. I usually use around 1/2 C olive oil. It really depends on your preference. We like a saucy pasta. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Melt some butter or add some olive oil. Add the scallops, salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes, remove from pan. Add the shrimp. Cook until almost opaque. Remove from the pan and deglaze it with the wine (Mmmm, wine). Let the wine reduce by half.
Add the shrimp and scallops back to the pan. Now drown them in the pesto.
If you are using miracle noodles or zoodles, put them in now and let them simmer in the sauce for a minute or two. Not too long, you don’t want your seafood over done.
Since I was using kale, I did let my sauce cook for a couple minutes. If you are using pasta drop it in after 2 minutes and toss to coat.
Kale Pesto Pasta
Kale pesto pasta is an easy, healthy meal for any night of the week. We paired the simple pesto with shrimp and scallops for your new go to recipe!
- Prep Time: 5 Minutes
- Cook Time: 10 Minutes
- Total Time: 15 Minutes
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 3 C Kale Leaves, stems removed
- 1/2 C Parsley
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 1/3 C Pine Nuts
- 1 t Salt
- 1/2 t Pepper
- 1/4 t Crushed Red Pepper
- 3 T Nutritional Yeast
- 1/4-2/3 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 lb Bay Scallops, small
- 12 oz Small Shrimp
- 1/2 C Wine
- 4 Servings of Pasta, Miracle Noodles or Zoodles, prepared
- Prepare your pasta or rinse your miracle noodles.
- Add all pesto ingredients, except EVOO, to a food processor or blender. Process the ingredients until roughly chopped, a couple of seconds. Start drizzling the EVOO in while the food processor is running. Stop when you reach the desired consistency. Set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 T EVOO, then scallops. Only cook scallops for a couple minutes, then remove from pan and set aside.
- Add an additional 2 T EVOO to skillet and cook shrimp until almost opaque. Remove from skillet and deglaze with the wine. Cook down for 3-4 minutes until the wine is reduced by half. Add the seafood and pesto back to the skillet.
- If you are using miracle noodles or zoodles, add them now and let everything come to a slow simmer. Simmer for 2 minutes. Serve.
- If you are using pasta, let the sauce simmer for 2 minutes, then toss pasta with sauce and serve immediately.
Keywords: Pesto Pasta
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