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Pesto Spaghetti with Shrimp
and house salad with French vinaigrette

Active: 35 minTotal: 35 min
20140519 shrimp pesto pasta nm 3.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

This pesto has a secret ingredient - avocado! - which provides a lovely creaminess. Tossed with long strands of noodles and shrimp (or edamame and asparagus), this will be a dish that is great for weeknight eating or a fancy dinner party. (Just remember to save some pesto for tomorrow's dinner!)


Pesto Spaghetti with Shrimp:
  • Shrimp - 1 lb, shelled and deveined
  • Spaghetti - 1/2 lb ((Sub fettuccine, linguine if you prefer))
  • Cooking oil - 1 Tbsp
  • Peas - 1 1/2 cups
  • Homemade pesto - 2/3 cup ((Ingredients listed separately))
  • Lemon - 1, juice of
House Salad with French Vinaigrette:
  • Tomatoes - 2, chopped ((1 large or 2 small))
  • Cucumbers - 1/2 lb, chopped
  • Honey - 1 tsp
  • Dijon mustard - 1 tsp
  • Sherry or red wine vinegar - 1 1/2 Tbsp
  • Olive oil - 2 Tbsp
  • Mixed greens - 6 oz
Basil Pesto (makes ~1 cup):
  • Pine nuts - 3 Tbsp ((Sub walnuts if you're on a budget))
  • Basil - 3 cups, loosely packed
  • Garlic - 1 clove, peeled
  • Avocado (small) - 1/2
  • Olive oil - 1/4 to 1/2 cup

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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  1. Pine nuts (optional step) - Toast in a frying pan over medium-high heat until golden brown. It's also completely fine to skip this step.
  2. Make pesto (this makes enough for tomorrow night) - Combine pine nuts, basil, garlic, and avocado in a food processor. Pulse until ingredients are broken up. Drizzle in olive oil, while keeping food processor on, until you get a sauce-like consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reserve ⅓ for tomorrow’s dinner. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  3. Shrimp - Defrost, rinse, and dry.
  4. Tomatoes / Cucumbers - Prep as directed.


  1. Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Salt generously and add pasta. Cook until al dente, tender but not soggy.
  2. This takes a bit of timing, but heat up a saute pan over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes before pasta is done. Add cooking oil to saute pan and then shrimp to pan. Toss until pink on the outside.
  3. Once pasta is done, use tongs to transfer cooked pasta directly from saucepan into saute pan (don’t toss pasta water just yet). Add in peas and pesto. Toss until everything is coated nicely and shrimp is cooked through. If you want your sauce to be ‘saucier’ just add a few tablespoons of pasta water. Remove from heat and finish with lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Whisk together honey, Dijon, vinegar, and olive oil (double if making tomorrow’s dinner). Toss with tomatoes, cucumbers, and mixed greens. Enjoy with pasta.

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This meal has 17 reviews

This has been one of my favorites so far.... The leftovers were really good too!

By: Amanda
Posted: Jul 13, 2014
Diet: Original

I also made the gluten-free version. Both were wonderful! I will add some onions or shallots next time just because we love the flavor it adds.

By: Julie
Posted: Jun 22, 2014
Diet: Paleo

I didn't actually get around to making this dish, but made the pesto and LOVED it! The avocado added a creaminess while keeping this pesto relatively healthy (and vegan! for those who care). Such a good variation.

By: Sarah
Posted: Jun 20, 2014
Diet: Original

I used jarred pesto and served snap peas alongside instead of salad. Will try making pesto next time, I just had a half used jar in the fridge. It was delicious!

By: Mary-Claire
Posted: Jun 11, 2014
Diet: Original

Delicious and quick dish (if you've got pesto already made)! Drizzle a little sriracha on top if you like spice. Perfection!

By: Alexandra
Posted: Jun 05, 2014
Diet: Original

Made with zucchini instead of peas

By: Lacy
Posted: Jun 01, 2014
Diet: Original