Pasta will forever be my quick-night, go-to meal. It is so simple and satisfying and this combination is a winner.
Roasted red peppers are a pantry staple for me. I love buying a few jars and pulling one out when I dont have a ton of time and I want to add deep flavor to something like this red pepper pesto. The char bits on the roasted red peppers remind me a bit of summer; even when were deep into winter without a glimmer of hope.
The walnuts add a nice nuttiness to the pesto and I paired it with shrimp because its another favorite of mine because they take literally five minutes to cook up. Ive also been on this odd quinoa/brown rice pasta kick and I will admit, its nothing like the original but its does the trick when I want to feel less guilty about my carb-obsession.
Give it a go and tell me how you like it!
Red Pepper Pesto Pasta with Shrimp
- Red Pepper Pesto:
- 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves, plus a few more leaves as garnish
- 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, drained (from a jar)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- Salt to taste
- For pasta:
- 1 pound pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Salt and pepper
- To a blender, add all of the pesto ingredients. Pulse until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Give it a taste and add salt as needed (I added about 1/4 teaspoon). Set aside.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook per the package’s instructions. (I used whole wheat pasta and it required about 9 minutes.) Remove about 1/2 cup (you can eyeball this measurement) of pasta water and set it aside. Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Pour in the pesto, along with 1/4 cup pasta water and toss until combined. Cover the pot to keep warm.
- Meanwhile, in a small sauté pan, set over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. When hot add the shrimp and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Divide the pasta amongst bowls or plates. Top with a few shrimp per plate and garnish with basil.
Yield: Serves 4
Adrianna Adarme is a food blogger and author living in Los Angeles, California. She writes the blog A Cozy Kitchen, where she shares comforting, everyday recipes from her kitchen. She recently authored her first cookbook, PANCAKES: 72 Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Perfect Stack. She’s a lover of breakfast, pie (and sometimes even pie for breakfast), corgis and cute things. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.