Throwing together a quick and easy pasta recipe is the perfect busy weeknight meal for many busy home cooks. Even if everyone is getting home at different times, you can keep this in the refrigerator and just microwave it in portions when the various members of your family happen to get home from whatever activity they have been doing.
That of course makes it very convenient if you have perhaps one kid at ballet class, another at soccer and a third hungry and waiting at the table. A lot of shrimp pasta recipes are similar but what differentiates this from the rest is the incredible homemade pesto sauce. Yes of course you can buy pesto from the store but until you have tasted a homemade version you have no idea how fresh and aromatic pesto can be.
If you like pesto in a jar you will love homemade pesto. This version is made from walnuts rather than pine nuts which are more common, and this gives it a unique taste. This shrimp scampi with pasta recipe is nice with linguine but you can use any kind of pasta you want, such as pasta twists, bowties, macaroni, penne or something else. You could even use whole wheat pasta if you prefer the slightly nutty, wholesome flavor and firmer texture it offers.
- 8 oz linguine
- 1 cup halved string beans
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- ¼ chopped red bell pepper
- 1 lb peeled, deveined medium raw shrimp
- Parmesan, to serve
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- ½ cup pesto sauce (recipe follows)
- ½ cup grated fresh parmesan
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves
- ⅓ cup chopped walnuts
- ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 finely chopped garlic cloves
- Salt, to taste
- Blanch the basil in boiling water for 30 seconds, then plunge it into ice water.
- Drain and dry on paper towels.
- Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over a moderate heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add all the pesto sauce ingredients to a blender or food processor and whiz until smooth.
- Season to taste with salt and store in a tightly covered glass container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- Cook the linguine and string beans together in a pot of salted water for 10 minutes or until al dente.
- Add the broccoli and bell pepper to the pot halfway through the cooking time (so, 5 minutes before the end).
- Reserve ¼ cup of the cooking water, draining off the remainder.
- Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of oil over a moderate heat in a skillet.
- Add the shrimp and season well with salt and black pepper.
- Cook the shrimp until they start to curl, then take them off the heat.
- Toss the linguine and vegetables with the shrimp, ⅓ cup of the pesto sauce, and the cooking water.
- You can stir in more pesto if you want to.
- Serve immediately, with parmesan cheese on the side.
The addition of homemade walnut pesto transforms this dish from a simple linguine and shrimp dish to something with a gourmet flavor. A little pesto goes a long way, so do not add too much, else you risk overwhelming the more subtle flavors in this shrimp scampi recipe. Instead, just stir in a little. You can always add more if necessary. This is a recipe which will appeal to the whole family and the fact it can be reheated means it is perfect if the family are all coming home at different times and you need to warm it back up again. A shrimp scampi with pasta recipe is handy to know.
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