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4.95 from 19 votes

Pesto Shrimp Asparagus Pasta

This Pesto Shrimp Asparagus Pasta can be on your dinner table in 30 minutes tops with your own fresh pesto made from scratch! Packed with tons of flavor and super quick to put together, this pasta will become your new favorite week night dinner.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: pesto pasta, pesto shrimp asparagus pasta
Servings: 6
Calories: 639kcal
Author: Joanna Cismaru

Equipment

Ingredients

For Pesto

  • 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

For Pasta

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

Notes

  1. If you don't own a food processor you can use a blender, but I would recommend chopping up the basil first and mincing the garlic before adding it to the blender, otherwise you might be forced to blend it more than needed and it would turn it into a smoother pesto. 
  2. If you're using store bought pesto for this recipe, start with about 4 tbsp and add more if needed.
  3. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for no more than 3 or 4 days.
  4. Please note that in the video I add the pesto at the end, I recommend adding it when instructed in the recipe as it will be easier to toss the pasta.
  5. Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.

Nutrition

Calories: 639kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 206mg | Sodium: 761mg | Potassium: 496mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1872IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 308mg | Iron: 5mg