This pesto shrimp pasta is outrageous! It’s exciting and it looks and tastes gourmet. How do you make regular pesto shrimp pasta a bit more exciting and look gourmet? Surprisingly, not that much.
- I used durum wheat semolina and egg pasta. You know, the one that has a rough surface and is more yellow in color. It’s on the expensive side but so worth it because of its rich taste. You can use any shape of pasta but I thought pappardelle would work the best in this recipe. I am getting bored by the usual spaghetti, linguine or fettuccine.
- I used homemade basil pesto which added a lot of flavor and texture. Sure, you can buy good tasting pesto from a store but homemade still wins and takes little effort to make.
- Thinly sliced strips of pan-seared zucchini that I decided to mix in to my pesto shrimp pasta turned out to be a very welcome addition – they added more color, texture and a great taste.
- Pan-roasted pine nuts can never disappoint, and they didn’t this time either. I used some in my homemade pesto but adding some more on top of pasta worked very well for adding more crunchy texture to contrast pasta and they smell so good.
As for shrimp, I cooked them separately and added on top after the pasta was mixed with pesto sauce. Green shrimp just doesn’t scream gourmet to me. Cooking shrimp separately also allows to not overcook them.
Shrimp Pesto PastaPrint Pin Rate
- 8 oz pappardelle (durum what semolina and egg recommended)
- 1 lb tiger shrimp (peeled, deveined, tails left on or removed)
- 1 cup basil pesto (homemade recommended, see notes)
- 2 garlic cloves (pressed)
- olive oil (for pan-frying)
- 2 small zucchini
- salt and pepper to taste
- grated parmesan cheese to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp pan-roasted pine nuts
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
- Place the peeled and de-veined shrimp in a medium bowl. Add one tablespoon of olive oil, one teaspoon of salt and a 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Mix well and set aside.
- Rinse the zucchini, then, using a peeler, cut lengthwise into very thin slices.
- Heat half a tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick pan over high heat and fry zucchini strips, frequently stirring, for about 1-2 minutes, until lightly softened and slightly browned. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of olive oil, and cook the pasta al dente. Once cooked, drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add half a pound of shrimp and cook on both sides, about 1-2 minutes per side, until the shrimp are pink in color and cooked through. Do not overcook! Remove from the pan and set aside. Add half a tablespoon more of oil and repeat with the other half of the shrimp.
- In the same skillet, cook the garlic over medium heat for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the pasta and stir. The add the pesto and stir well. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the fried zucchini strips and gently stir them in, taking care not to break them.
- Remove the pesto pasta from the pan and transfer to serving plates. Top with shrimp, chopped fresh basil, roasted pine nuts and freshly ground Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Drizzle with a little bit of oil and serve.