Recipes

Asparagus & Spinach Pesto Pasta with Blackened Shrimp

Remember this book?

green-eggs-and-ham

 

Of course you do! Everyone with a working knowledge of literacy knows about this book. Well, today’s post reminds me of this wonderful story, mainly because the dish is a bright green color.

Bright green? Food? Yuck…right? Wrong.

This dish is super yummy, fun, and with all the veggies in it…probably a little healthy.

C.J. definitely wrinkled his nose when I gave him a bowl of bright green colored pasta, but after tasting the dish he didn’t mind the unusual color.

I thought the color was beautiful.

IMG_8236

Ingredients

Pasta:

  • 1 lb. (16 oz.) dried pasta (I used DeLallo whole wheat)
  • 1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2-3 Tbsp. blackening powder (use your favorite brand, or cajun seasoning)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • asparagus-spinach pesto (see ingredients below)

Asparagus-Spinach Pesto:

  • 1 bunch asparagus spears (about 1 lb), ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves, loosely packed
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions

Pasta:

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water al dente according to package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, add the shrimp to a small bowl and toss with the blackening powder until covered. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add in the shrimp, and saute for 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through and pink and no longer translucent. Turn off the heat, and transfer shrimp to a separate plate and set aside.
  3. When the pasta is al dente, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water then drain the pasta. Return the pasta either to the stockpot where it was cooked, or to the saute pan (with the stove heat turned off). Add the pesto to the pasta, and toss until evenly coated, adding in a bit of the reserved pasta water if needed to thin the pasta. Then stir in the shrimp and pine nuts, and serve immediately sprinkled with some extra parmesan cheese.

Pesto:

  1. Fill a separate medium saucepan or stockpot with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus spears and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the spears are bright green and barely tender. Remove the asparagus with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl filled with ice water to stop the cooking.
  2. Add the asparagus, spinach, garlic, Parmesan, pine nuts, lemon juice and salt to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process until combined. Then, with the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil until it is incorporated. As mentioned above, if the pesto seems too thick, add in a bit of pasta water to thin it out.

Enjoy!

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