Spinach Pesto Pasta with Shrimp
- 2 2 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (can sub half the basil leaves with baby spinach)
- 1/2 1/2 2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan-Reggiano cheese (about 2 ounces)
- 1/2 1/2 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 1/3 1/3 cup pine nuts (can sub chopped walnuts)
- 3 3 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 3 teaspoons)
- 1/4 1/4 to teaspoon salt, more to taste
- 1/8 1/8 to teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more to taste
- 1 1 1 Pulse basil and pine nuts in a food processor: Place the basil leaves and pine nuts into the bowl of a food processor and pulse a several times.
- 2 2: 2: Add the garlic and cheese: Add the garlic and Parmesan or Romano cheese and pulse several times more. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.
- 4 4 to Stir in salt and freshly ground black pepper, add more to taste.
- 8 8 8 ounces uncooked whole-wheat penne pasta
- 1 1 2-in. pound fresh asparagus, cut into 2-in. pieces
- 1 1 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 1 1 pound large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/4 1/4 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1/4 1/4 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 1/2 1/2 cup halved multicolored grape tomatoes
- 1/4 1/4 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
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.
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 for Pesto Chicken with Blistered Tomatoes and Vegetable Soup au Pisto.
To prepare pasta, return water in pan to a boil. Add pasta; cook according to package directions, adding asparagus during last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid.
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.
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.