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.

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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.

All text and images © / Eclectic Recipes
*Nutritional Information is not guaranteed for 100% accuracy.

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  14 Responses to “Spinach Basil Pesto Pasta and Shrimp”

  1. yasmeen — April 6, 2010 @ 6:05 pm

    Love all the green in the pasta,and the shrimp looks juicy good 😀
    .-= yasmeen´s last blog ..Chicken Kale Saag =-.

  2. Juliana — April 6, 2010 @ 6:25 pm

    Oh Grace! This pasta looks fabulous, pesto and shrimp…I am ready for dinner 🙂

  3. Anna — April 6, 2010 @ 7:50 pm

    Looks lovely, loved the spinach addition.
    .-= Anna´s last blog ..Kumquat Sangria and Fajitas =-.

  4. Drick — April 6, 2010 @ 8:24 pm

    this is a big WOW … love everything about it – the shrimp looks cooked to perfection and the pesto with with peas addition is just a great inpiration … a great recipe
    .-= Drick´s last blog ..After Dinner Drink & Dessert =-.

  5. I love pesto, but I never think to make it myself. I love that you snuck in some extra greens by adding spinach…I am going to make this very soon! I really just love love your new site, every time I come here it’s so refreshing!
    .-= Nicole (Making Good Choices)´s last blog ..What’s for breakfast? Try these chocolate scones! =-.

  6. Divina — April 6, 2010 @ 9:10 pm

    This dish is very much Spring to me. The color is gorgeous and I absolutely love the flavors.

  7. Brie — April 6, 2010 @ 10:53 pm

    wow, this looks incredible! i’ve been craving pesto lately and this looks like a recipe i need to try. yum!
    .-= Brie´s last blog ..Guest Post on Simply Life: Pear & Triple Cream Bruschetta with Apple Butter =-.

  8. redkathy — April 6, 2010 @ 11:52 pm

    Nice pesto Angie! Peas are so good with pasta. I used to really dislike them until I tried the pasta n peas combo!
    .-= redkathy´s last blog ..Sassy Vegetables and Baked Oregano Chicken =-.

  9. MaryMoh — April 7, 2010 @ 6:45 am

    Oh…those big prawns…my favourite….they are staring at me…haha. Love this dish! Would be great for lunch. The pesto just makes the whole dish look so gorgeous.
    .-= MaryMoh´s last blog ..Malaysian Country Fried Rice =-.

  10. Natasha Cardinez-Singh — April 7, 2010 @ 9:36 am

    Fabulous pesto recipe! I could eat this with or without the shrimp; looks delicious!

  11. thatssoron — April 7, 2010 @ 5:48 pm

    .-= thatssoron´s last blog ..Sydney Trotting =-.

  12. 5 Star Foodie — April 7, 2010 @ 7:05 pm

    Sounds excellent with spinach, basil and shrimp! Yummy pasta!
    .-= 5 Star Foodie´s last blog ..Morel Fettuccine with Spinach Ribbons and Crispy Shallots =-.

  13. Lindsey — April 10, 2010 @ 12:12 pm

    Luscious! I can’t wait to make this springy dish!

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