June 21, 2010

Spicy Pesto with Shrimp

It's been a busy past few days with work, birthdays, and fathers day preparation so I have a lot of catching up to do! Here's an easy but delicious dish I made a few nights ago before my friends birthday party. The pesto is great and can even be made a few days in advance paired with anything from shrimp, chicken, and even just with crackers- it's a good staple to have.

Spicy Pesto with Shrimp
Adapted from Everyday Italian

1 pound cooked pasta such as Rigatoni
1 cup leftover pasta water
1/2 pound uncooked shrimp
1 cup raw walnuts
1 jalapeño, diced and without seeds*
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for shrimp
4 ounces fresh arugula
2 ounces fresh spinach
salt & pepper to taste

To prepare the shrimp, preheat the oven to 425F. Place shrimp on a baking sheet lined with foil and drizzle with olive oil and follow by seasoning with salt and fresh black pepper. Once the oven has heated, cook for about 8 minutes, or until the shrimp are bright pink. Watch them closely throughout though, and be careful not to overcook as each oven really is different.

Next, prepare the pesto. In a food processor combine the walnuts, garlic, jalapeño, and Parmesan cheese. Pulse until combined. Next, add the spinach and arugula then slowly drizzle in the olive oil, you may need more or even less depending on your desired consistency.

Combine the pesto with the hot, cooked noodles adding pasta water as you go to achieve your desired consistency. Top with shrimp and fresh Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

*If you prefer an even more spicy pesto, simply leave in the Jalepeno seeds. My family aren't particularly fans of extremely spicy, so I omitted the seeds but you still get a wonderful kick.

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