Spinach Basil Pesto Pasta and Shrimp


This is an easy recipe for spinach basil pesto bow tie pasta. I created a spinach pesto to add some more nutrition to a classic pesto. I saw a version of this recipe on a show I discovered on PBS, ChefClass. ChefClass is a very informative cooking show that “takes viewers inside The International Culinary Schools at The Art Institutes where thousands of students learn fundamental cooking techniques and professional culinary skills.” When I first started making pesto, I would buy pre-prepared pesto and add cream before tossing with the pasta. I never realized how easy making pesto was. It is so easy to make with a food processor. Using fresh spinach sauteed in olive oil makes this dish very delicious and nutritious. I also added some green peas. The peas help to make this dish even more like springtime. My son’s new favorite food happens to be shrimp. So I have been serving shrimp a little more often than before. The shrimp cooked with garlic and pepper makes a nice contrast to the fresh pasta.

recipe photo

Yield: Serves 4

Spinach Basil Pesto Pasta and Shrimp

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1 lb peeled and de-viened fresh or frozen and defrosted shrimp
1 package bow tie pasta
1 lb fresh spinach
a large bunch of basil
1 cup frozen and defrosted peas
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup cream or half and half
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons pine nuts
olive oil
kosher salt to taste
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder


Prepare pasta according to package directions, making sure that you salt the water the pasta cooks in. Drain pasta.

Preheat a large skillet. Drizzle with olive oil and add fresh spinach. Saute until wilted. Add to your food processor.
Add pine nuts and basil to the spinach in the food processor. Pulse while adding olive oil, about 1/4 cup, until you have a good consistency.

Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to shrimp. Add more olive oil to the pan you sauteed the spinach in. Cook the shrimp over medium high heat to get them slightly caramelized.

After you have cooked all the shrimp, you should have lots of yummy brown bits in the bottom of the pan, de-glaze the pan by adding the white wine. Scrape up as much of the brown bits as possible. Add cream and heat through. (You may have to add more cream to get a smooth consistency.

Remove pan from heat. Add pesto to white wine cream sauce. Stir to combine. Add pasta and peas, and combine well. Serve shrimp on top of pasta.

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*Nutritional Information is not guaranteed for 100% accuracy.

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