09 September 2012

Smoked Pesto & Shrimp Pasta

For recipe #2 in the three part series of Smoked Almond Basil Pesto, I present to you this quick, easy and delicious dinner of Smoked Pesto & Shrimp Pasta.  This is a perfect meal to make after a long day at the office.  Thanks to the pre-made pesto, this dish only takes a grand total 12 minutes from start to finish.  Your prep time can therefore be spent relaxing with a glass of dry white wine...gotta love that.  

The hubs was slightly flabbergasted by the speediness of this dinner.  As I was placing a pan of hot water on the stove, I yelled "dinner in 10."  He was dubious as my usual M.O. is a good 30 minutes of chopping, measuring, pinching and tearing before he gets to eat.  But when he came strolling out 10 minutes later, I was tossing the pasta and kale with the pesto.  He barely had time to get the table ready as I was plating.  His palpable surprise was quite amusing.  Mua-ha-ha-ha!

To make this truly a 10 minute dinner, you need to have three things:  pre-made pesto, jarred minced garlic and raw shrimp that are fully thawed.  With those three ingredients, you're pretty much guaranteed a fresh and delicious meal.  Angel hair pasta cooks up extra quickly and dry white wine adds a bit of fruitiness to the shrimp.  Add a few quickly chopped ingredients and you have a complete meal in one pan.  With all the time saved, you might even have time for another second glass of wine.

Smoked Pesto & Shrimp Pasta (2 servings)
  • 4 oz whole wheat angel hair or spaghetti
  • 1 c greens (we used kale)
  • 1/4 c smoked almonds
  • 5-6 large basil leaves
  • olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 6 oz raw shrimp, thawed & peeled
  • 2 tbs dry white wine (we had Sauvignon Blanc which was great)
  • 3-4 tbs Smoked Almond Basil Pesto
Place a large pan of hot, salted water over high heat and bring to a boil.  While the water is heating, roughly chop your greens and almonds, leaving separate.  Stack your basil leaves in a small pile and roll into a little tube.  Thinly slice on an angel to julienne.

When the water is boiling, add your pasta, then place a large pan over medium-high heat and add 1 tsp of olive oil.  When the oil is hot, add the garlic and stir, cooking for about 15 seconds before adding the shrimp.  Cook for 2 minutes, then flip the shrimp and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until shrimp are pink and no longer opaque.  Remove from the pan into a small bowl and set aside.  

Place the pan back on the burner and add the kale and white wine.  Cook for 2 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan with the wooden spoon to deglaze.  Then turn off the burner.

About now, your pasta should be finishing up.  Drain and transfer into the large pan with the kale and wine.  Add the pesto and drizzle with a little olive oil.  Toss together to evenly coat the pasta.  Add the shrimp back to the pan and toss a few more times.  Divide between two plates and garnish with julienned basil and smoked almonds.  

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