Recipe Corner: Spinach Pesto Pasta with Shrimp


Not too light and not too heavy – just perfect for a delicious springtime meal!


  • 2 cups packed fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup seeded chopped plum tomato
  • 6 tablespoons chopped toasted walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


  • 8 ounces uncooked whole-wheat penne pasta
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, cut into 2-in. pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 pound large fresh shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup halved multicolored grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Step 1

  • To prepare pesto, bring a large saucepan filled with water to a boil.
  • Add spinach and basil; cook 20 seconds.
  • Remove spinach mixture to a bowl filled with ice water (reserve water in pan); let stand 30 seconds. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.

Step 2

  • Place parsley and next 7 ingredients (through garlic) in food processor; process until finely chopped.
  • Add spinach mixture and 2 tablespoons oil; process to combine.
  • Place 3/4 cup pesto in a small bowl; place plastic wrap directly on pesto. Reserve extra to make another dish like Pesto Chicken.

Step 3

  • To prepare pasta, return water in pan to a boil. Add pasta; cook according to package directions.
  • Add asparagus during last 5 minutes of cooking.
  • Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid.

Step 4

  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high until butter melts.
  • Sprinkle shrimp with red pepper and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
  • Add shrimp to pan; cook 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until done.
  • Remove shrimp from pan.

Step 5

  • Add pasta mixture and reserved 3/4 cup cooking liquid to pan; cook 1 minute.
  • Stir in remaining 6 tablespoons pesto, shrimp, grape tomatoes, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  • Divide pasta mixture evenly among 4 bowls.

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