My sweet friend, Lindsay, made this dish for us one night last summer. It was one of the first times I met her now-fiance and we had such great fellowship sitting outside on her patio and drinking wine well into the night. We sort of made this up that night and since then, Frank and I have duplicated it many, many times. It’s a simple, fast, healthy (if you use the reduced fat pesto) and filling dinner and it is also great for a dinner party because it can feed as many people as you want — just be sure to check for shrimp allergies/hatred. If shrimp is a game-breaker, just substitute chicken.
Shrimp and Pesto Pasta
- 1 lb of shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 box of Rotini pasta (the corkscrew kind)
- 1 bushel asparagus
- 1 tub of pesto (see below for tips)
- 1/4 cup of shaved fresh parmesan
- Old Bay Seasoning
- Olive Oil
In the sack that the shrimp comes in, shake a healthy amount (maybe 2 tbsp) of Old Bay Seasoning and then shake and roll the bag around to coat the shrimp. Move to a grill basket. On a cookie sheet, roll asparagus in olive oil (maybe a tbsp) and S&P to taste.
Grill the shrimp and asparagus. Put the asparagus on first, it takes longer than the shrimp. BEGINNERS TIP: Shrimp are done when they are lightly pink and slightly opaque, no longer than 5 minutes, usually. Take them off the heat as soon as you think they are ready and put them on a cold plate; otherwise, they will continue to cook on the hot grill pan and get too tough and overdone.
While they grill, in a large dutch oven, cook the pasta according to box instructions, drain and put the pasta back into the pot. While the pasta cooks, in a small saucepan, heat up the pesto on a very low setting. When selecting your pesto, get the kind that is refridgerated, in a small tub (Bertolli is a good brand). This section at the store is typically where they keep refridgerated pastas and cheeses.
When the aparagus is ready, move to a cutting board and chop the first 2/3 of the stalks into bite-size pieces. Add to the pasta. Add the shrimp as well, then using a spatula, add the pesto and mix well. Add the cheeese and another dash of salt and mix again.
Serve immediately; preferably with a crisp white. This dish is perfect for dining al fresco in the upcoming nice weather. Enjoy!