A quick and easy pasta recipe made with a fresh spinach and pecan pesto, roasted peppers, plenty of Parmesan cheese and grilled shrimp, drizzled with olive oil and served with plump globe tomatoes. Sometimes you just want pasta.
Sometimes you just want pasta, indeed! Filing this one under "Quick and Easy Recipes" because, truly, you can have this done in about 20 minutes or so. There are nights when time is of the essence. We all have those days. You're slammed, too darned busy, have no time to prep the awesome meal you've had in your head all day, but you REALLY don't want to settle for takeout and you REALLY want something tasty, to reward yourself for a hard day's work.
This is the dinner for you! Pasta with Spinach-Pecan Pesto and Shrimp.
We're super busy right now working on a new cookbook, so meals like these are a NECESSITY. So let's get cracking!
Get your hot water boiling. Salt it up and add in your pasta. We used cavatappi noodles, but any pasta will do. Go with your favorite. For the roasted peppers, we typically have some in oil in our fridge, but if you don't have access to any, you can very easily roast a pepper or two directly on the stovetop over an open flame. Or, try the broiler method, or simply chop and sautee them in a bit of oil. Here is some information on how to roast chili peppers.
Toss the peppers into a food processor along with the spinach, Parmesan, pecans and olive oil. Process it up to form the pesto. You may be used to the traditional pesto made with basil and pine nuts, but you'll love this variation. The flavors are similar. Pesto is one of those AWESOME Italian sauces that is ripe for variation. You can try different herbs and greens as well as different nuts and other seasonings. Go to town with creativity!
OK, so the pesto took about 3 minutes or so. Maybe 5 with chopping. Next comes the hard part - cooking the shrimp. NOT! Shrimp is a go-to for quick meals because these guys cook up FAST. Toss them with bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and cook them a couple minutes per side, until they are nice and pink. Done!
Toss your drained pasta with the pesto and globe tomatoes and serve it into bowls. Top with shrimp, extra roasted peppers, more Parmesan (YES!), a few drizzles of olive oil, and a bit of parsley for a pop of vibrant green color. BOOM! Dinner is served. And it was fast!
Like I said, sometimes you just want pasta, and this is one of those days. So tasty. You can't ignore the pasta crave.
Pasta with Spinach-Pecan Pesto and Shrimp – Recipe
- 2 cups pasta
- 1 cup packed fresh spinach, coarsely chopped + extra for garnish
- 2 medium roasted peppers, chopped
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese + extra for serving
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 1 cup olive oil + 1 tablespoon + extra for drizzling
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Small globe tomatoes for serving, sliced
- ¼ pound shrimp
- Chopped parsley for garnish
- Get your pasta going. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add pasta and boil about 10 minutes, until aldente.
- While pasta is boiling, add spinach, half of the roasted pepper, Parmesan, pecans and olive oil to a food processor. Process to form your pesto. Adjust with salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat a small pan to medium heat.
- Toss shrimp with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper. Set into the pan and cook 1-2 minutes per side, until cooked through. Remove from heat.
- Drain pasta and toss with pesto and globe tomatoes.
- Serve into bowls. Top with shrimp, extra chopped roasted red pepper, Parmesan cheese and spinach and parsley garnish. And drizzled olive oil!