Pesto Spaghetti with Shrimp
and house salad with French vinaigrette
This pesto has a secret ingredient - avocado! - which provides a lovely creaminess. Tossed with long strands of noodles and shrimp, 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!)
Smarts: If you've got herbs that look like they might go bad, just make them into a pesto (it doesn't just have to be basil). It'll keep longer and pesto freezes well too if you don't use it up within a week.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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 one third for tomorrow’s dinner. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Shrimp - Defrost, rinse, and dry.
- Tomatoes / Cucumbers - Prep as directed.
- Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Salt generously and add pasta. Cook until al dente, tender but not soggy.
- 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.
- 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.
- Whisk together honey, Dijon, vinegar, and olive oil (double if making tomorrow’s dinner). Toss with tomatoes, cucumbers, and mixed greens. Enjoy with pasta.
Big hit. Loves this!!0 Helpful
Yummy -- but be sure to cool pasta long enough. Also, don't forget salt and pepper. Personally, I need to go light on the oil for pesto (1/4 c. vs. 1/2 c.).0 Helpful
Watch to not overdo the noodles.0 Helpful
Shrimp is somewhat hit-or-miss for my appetite, so I replaced those with the turkey meatballs (from the turkey meatballs lettuce cups recipe).0 Helpful
The pesto was fantastic. The meal was quick to prepare. I loved the vegetables and would totally make this again with or without pasta.0 Helpful
I made it for the first time for a friend and she said it tasted like Olive Garden. It was so easy to make too. Best so far.0 Helpful