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  • Writer's pictureThe Farmer's Wife

Spinach Pesto Pasta with Shrimp



  • 2 cups packed fresh baby spinach

  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves

  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 1/2 cup seeded chopped plum tomato

  • 6 tablespoons chopped toasted walnuts

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 garlic clove, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


  • 8 ounces uncooked whole-wheat penne pasta

  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, cut into 2-in. pieces

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1 pound large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 cup halved multicolored grape tomatoes

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


1. To prepare pesto, bring a large saucepan filled with water to a boil. Add spinach and basil; cook 20 seconds. Remove spinach mixture to a bowl filled with ice water (reserve water in pan); let stand 30 seconds. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.

2. Place parsley and next 7 ingredients (through garlic) in food processor; process until finely chopped. Add spinach mixture and 2 tablespoons oil; process to combine. Place 3/4 cup pesto in a small bowl; place plastic wrap directly on pesto.

3. To prepare pasta, return water in pan to a boil. Add pasta; cook according to package directions, adding asparagus during last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid.

4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high until butter melts. Sprinkle shrimp with red pepper and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Add shrimp to pan; cook 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until done. Remove shrimp from pan.

5. Add pasta mixture and reserved 3/4 cup cooking liquid to pan; cook 1 minute. Stir in remaining 6 tablespoons pesto, shrimp, grape tomatoes, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Divide pasta mixture evenly among 4 bowls.

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