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Pesto Spaghetti with Shrimp
and house salad with French vinaigrette

Active: 35 min Total: 35 min
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.


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


  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 one third for tomorrow’s dinner. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  3. Shrimp - Defrost, rinse, and dry.
  4. Tomatoes / Cucumbers - Prep as directed.

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  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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