Walnut Pesto Shrimp

by Gavan on January 5, 2010

Shrimp & Walnut Pesto Pasta

And now for something completely different! Need something other than turkey or ham to spice up the ol’ taste buds again after the holidays? Here’s something to tickle your fancy. This is a simple little healthy dish that takes just minutes to throw together. Of course you can use chicken instead of the shrimp if you prefer. No biggie. You can adapt this recipe all year round too to accommodate whatever veg is fresh and in season. Yet another beauty about my cooking (wink wink).

If you’re feeling adventurous and may even have gotten a pasta maker from Santa this year try making your own pasta. Having fresh homemade pasta will take this dish up a notch and will get you some serious kudos from your friends. In fact, have them help you make it! Making your own pasta is actually quite straight forward and boy will you notice the difference. Here’s how!

Serves 4

1 lb local or wild medium shrimp (21-30’s- between 21 and 30 per pound), peeled & deveined (P&D’s if you want the lingo)
1 cup Cannelini beans – drained
8oz Brussels sprouts – cook for 7-10 mins in boiling salted water. Drain and once cool enough to handle cut each sprout in half.
1 cup dry fusilli, penne, rigatoni pasta (2 cups cooked) or the fresh homemade stuff will work, too
1/2 lemon
chopped parsley

Makes 2 cups (extra for another time)

2 bunches fresh basil – packed
2 cups Italian parsley – packed
1 lemon – zested
1/2 lemon – juiced
2 tablespoons toasted walnuts – toast in a dry heated saute pan for 3-4 minutes tossing periodically until browned but not burned
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (low fat preferably)
1 1/2 cups olive oil
S&P to taste

Walnut Pesto Shrimp & Walnut Pesto Pasta

Add all pesto ingredients in a food processor, except for olive oil. Blend and while blitzing gradually pour in olive oil. Season with ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Done.

To make the dish: Preheat large saute pan on high for 1 minute. Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil. Add shrimp and saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring to cook all sides. Add cooked Brussels sprouts and continue sauteing for another minute. As the shrimp begin to turn opaque and become firm add 1/2 cup pesto along with the cooked pasta and beans. Toss to coat.

Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and chopped parsley.

Ah yes, now we can sing our favourite song again, “We’re bringing healthy back. Yeah!”

All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients as much as possible.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Meg Wolff January 5, 2010 at 3:29 pm

This looks beautiful & healthy. Best to you in the New Year!

admin January 5, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Thanks Meg. Always great to hear from you. Happy & healthy new year to you and your family too.

Jenny January 6, 2010 at 3:21 pm

This looks awesome. How many cups of basil would that be (I assume from the picture that you meant basil,not bunches). Mine doesn’t come in bunches — it is in clamshell containers.

Gavan Murphy aka the H.I. January 6, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Good catch Jen, thanks. Use 2 good hand fulls of the basil from the clam shell. You’ll be good with that.

Jenny January 6, 2010 at 6:07 pm

Excellent — thanks — I will try this out

Jenny January 9, 2010 at 5:22 pm

Made this last night and my husband and I both loved it — trying not to eat quite as much pasta, but this is definitely going in the rotation.

Gavan Murphy aka the H.I. January 20, 2010 at 3:42 pm

So glad you like it! You could use Quinoa pasta, which I eat often, instead of regular pasta. It’s not as heavy and it’s gluten free. If you have any requests for you or the hubby let me know!

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