Last updated on June 30th, 2018 at 10:38 am
This Pesto Shrimp Asparagus Pasta can be on your dinner table in 30 minutes tops with your own fresh pesto made from scratch. Easy to make, delicious and packed with lots of flavor!
It feels like spring is in the air, we’ve had a Chinook here for a few days and it’s been nice and warm. I know it’s far far away from spring, but it still gets me in the mood for spring flavors. Hence the asparagus! And freshly made pesto, nothing beats fresh homemade pesto.
Making pesto is really easy, only a handful of ingredients are needed, basil, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, salt and pepper. The great thing about pesto is that you can really switch up the ingredients and come up with some really great sauces. In the past I’ve used arugula, avocado, roasted red pepper, different nuts, like pecans or walnuts, sky is the limit. Yes it’s easier to just buy the pesto from the store, but nothing beats the flavor of making your own.
This dish is not only easy and quick but it’s quite elegant too, perfect for a special occasion dinner, yet still satisfying enough for a weeknight dinner. The large shrimp are first coated in a bit of the freshly made pesto, seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper then pan seared to perfection. Make sure you don’t overcook them, you want to cook them just until they turn pink, they’ll be juicy with incredible flavors.
I also added a bit of cream to this dish to make the pasta creamier and some cherry tomatoes for that extra burst of freshness. When it’s all tossed together, the colors of this dish alone will make your mouth water. I hope you try this dish, I’m sure you’ll love it, it’s so good and creamy, really one of my favorites.
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Pesto Shrimp Asparagus Pasta
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 2 oz fresh basil
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 tsp salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp pepper or to taste
- 10 oz dry spaghetti or pasta of your choice
- 3/4 lb large shrimp shells removed and deveined
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb asparagus (1 bundle) trimmed and washed
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- Start by toasting the pine nuts first in a small pan over medium heat. This should only take a couple minutes, you just want them lightly toasted, make sure you watch them as they could burn quickly. This step is optional but I really recommend it as it will give the pesto a really nutty and creamy flavor.
- In a food processor add all the pesto ingredients and pulse a few times, don't over process as you don't want a smooth consistency. Taste for salt and pepper and add more if needed.
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
- Meanwhile, take about 1 or 2 tbsp of the pesto and toss it with the shrimp until all the shrimp are coated. Season the shrimp with a bit of salt and pepper.
- In a large skillet heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook on both sides until the shrimp turns pink and a bit crisp, should not take more than 2 minutes per side.
- Remove the shrimp from the skillet and transfer to a plate. Add the remaining tbsp of olive oil to the skillet then add the asparagus. Cook the asparagus for about 2 minutes just until is gets a bit tender.
- Add the heavy cream to the skillet and bring to a boil. Stir in the remaining pesto.
- Turn off the heat and toss in the pasta, tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese.
- Serve warm and sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.
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