kale pesto pasta with seared sea scallops



  • 1 lb dried whole wheat pasta (I love Dellalo’s whole wheat fusilli for extra flavorful bites!)
  • 1/4 C pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 1 lb sea scallops
  • 1/2 cup kale pesto (or use your favorite store bought pesto)
  • 1 lemon, sliced into wedges


Prep work

  1. Bring a pot of generously salted water to a boil & cook pasta according to instructions on the package.
  2. Place a skillet over medium heat & add pine nuts. Shaking the pan often, toast the pine nuts until just fragrant & golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer into a dish to cool.

While the pasta is boiling, prepare your scallops for their perfect sear

  1. Place your heaviest bottom pan over high heat & allow to preheat for 5 minutes. The pan should be screaming hot! This is a good thing, just be careful.
  2. While your pan is preheating, prepare the scallops! Rinse them carefully to remove any grit or sand. Thoroughly dry the scallops, placing them on top of a layer of paper towels & patting down on their opposite side with another couple of paper towels.
  3. Generously season the scallops with salt & pepper.
  4. Once your pan is heated & your scallops are prepped, working quickly to add olive oil or butter to your pan, seasoning with another sprinkle of salt & pepper if desired. The oil will start to smoke once it is added to the pan. This is expected, just work quickly!
  5. Place the scallops into the pan, one by one, leaving a decent amount of room around each to avoid steaming. They may spit a little, so just watch your hands.
  6. Allow scallops to sear for 2 minutes, without touching them(!), before flipping them to sear the opposite sides for another 2 minutes.
  7. Transfer scallops to a plate or platter while you finish assembling the pasta.

Finishing the dish

  1. Once the pasta is cooked to al dente, drain & transfer back into the pot while it’s still steaming hot.
  2. Quickly add the kale pesto, stirring it into the hot pasta. The pasta’s heat will cause the pesto to loosen up quite a bit & the pesto should evenly coat the pasta.
  3. Portion the pasta onto plates & top with scallops & toasted pine nuts.
  4. Serve with your favorite white wine & a squeeze of lemon!


  • Serving Size: 4