Creamy Pesto Shrimp Pasta

I was taking dinner to a friend and I wanted a one dish meal so they could just pop it in the oven, heat and eat. The problem was that I wanted something special and casseroles don't usually fall into that category. So I decided I'd start with shrimp. Then I added pasta because who doesn't love pasta? For some color I thought pesto and peas would work well and add the veg. I was onto something... Pine nuts, garlic, 1/2 & 1/2 and Parmesan were all I needed to gussy it up. They loved it! Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 box linguini
  • 2 C frozen peas
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 C basil pesto
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 C 1/2 & 1/2
  • 1/2 C pine nuts, toasted
  • red pepper flakes
  • olive oil

Begin by cooking the pasta according to the directions, making sure to season the water with plenty of salt. While it's cooking, you can cook everything else, just make sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn't overcook. I set a timer just to be sure.

In a saucepan, add a little olive oil and the minced garlic and begin to sauté. 

After about a minute, add the shrimp and season with salt and pepper. 

When the shrimp just begins to turn pink, add the pesto. I used the frozen basil pesto cubes I made this summer.

Add the red pepper flakes to taste.

Pour in the 1/2 & 1/2 and stir to combine.

Add the peas to your serving dish. There is no need to worry about cooking them.

Your pasta should be ready now, so drain it and add it to the peas. Save some of the pasta water in case you need to thin the sauce later.

Toss to combine.

Pour the shrimp mixture over the pasta.

Add the pine nuts, lemon zest and lemon juice.

Top with the Parmesan.

Toss it all together.

Cover with foil and deliver (or eat!). If it needs to be reheated, put it in a 350 degree oven until warmed through.