Pesto Shrimp Fettuccine with Zucchini

I wasn’t sure at first exactly what to do with all the farmer’s market goodies we picked up Saturday morning, but thanks to a tip from one of the stands, my first stab at making pesto from scratch seemed like a good idea.

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When I saw this recipe by Sunny Anderson for Shrimp with Roasted Garlic Pesto Pasta, I got the idea to use the local shrimp we had picked up along with some fresh pasta from a local pasta joint – Pasta & Provisions.

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I wasn’t in the mood to follow a recipe, so I just made something up with a pesto recipe primarily eye-balled but loosely based on the Classic Pesto recipe by Cooking Light.

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Prepping the zucchini

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I started by rinsing and drying some fresh basil.

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I used some pine nuts I had stowed away in the freezer, along with a couple cloves of garlic (extra garlic b/c I like it like that)

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I added some grated cheese mixture from Pasta & Provisions, along with the fresh basil. I ended up adding a handful more of basil leaves when the mixture didn’t turn quite as green as I wanted.

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AAAAAANNNNDDDD….we have PESTO!

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The foccacia loaf we got is delicious but HUGE, so I halved it and put the other half in the freezer.

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The one we’d be eating, I drizzled it with olive oil, sprinkled a wee bit of salt over the top and stuck it in the oven at 300 degrees F for 5 minutes (while the rest of the food cooked) to heat through and crisp up a little.

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The main dish started with some zucchini chopped small and sauteed in olive oil.

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After a couple minutes, I added the local shrimp (which hubby so kindly prepped for me).

With 2 minutes left of cooking time, I dropped the fresh pasta into some boiling water to cook.

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As I cooked the shrimp, I was getting some real brown bits working in the pan. So, I did what any pasta-cooking-chef would do and used some of the pasta water to deglaze the pan. I just added a half ladle or so to the pan and scraped up the brown bits.

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When the pasta was done, I added it straight to the pan a la Giada.

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Then, I added my homemade, freshmade pesto.

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Then I got my stir on and mixed everything together (after turning off the heat) with a little help from some leftover pasta water. The mixture came together quite nice! I was really pleased with my little experiment.

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Altogether now.

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Up-close…mmm…

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Perfect with some white wine and “fresh-baked” foccacia bread. Yum!

Pesto Shrimp Fettuccine with Zucchini
by me
serves 2-3

NOTE: Different pasta makers may have different cooking times – use time for the pasta you purchase – mine just happened to cook in 2 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2-3/4 peeled, de-veined shrimp
  • 1/2 lb fresh fettuccine pasta (we used spinach pasta cut like fettuccine)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup chopped zucchini
  • 2 cups basil
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated cheese (i.e. parmesan)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/8-1/4 cup olive oil, plus 1 tbsp
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  • Start medium pot of water boiling for the pasta.
  • Add pine nuts and garlic to a food processor. Process till ground almost fine. Add basil, cheese, and some olive oil. Process till everything is finely minced. Add extra olive oil as needed.
  • Meanwhile, heat pan over medium heat with 1 tbsp olive oil. Add zucchini to heated pan and saute for 2 minutes. Add shrimp to pan. Season with salt and pepper. Saute till shrimp are cooked through, about 4 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, when shrimp have about 2 minutes left to cook (I put a timer on when I start the shrimp so I know when there are 2 minutes left – btw I used 2 minutes b/c that was the cooking time for my pasta), add salt and then the fettuccine pasta to the boiling water and stir. Use pasta water to de-glaze the pan, as needed.
  • When pasta cooked through, add pasta directly to the pan of shrimp and zucchini using pronged spoon (some pasta water added to the shrimp mixture is ok).
  • Add pesto to the pan.
  • Stir ingredients in pan till the pesto is evenly distributed. Add a bit of pasta water here and there to help the pesto spread (I added about 1/4-1/2 cup).
  • Serve pasta with foccacia and offer extra grated cheese to top, as desired. Enjoy!

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Comments

  1. says

    That looks so good (I almost wrote that in capslock!). I love the mix of pesto and prawns ~ two of my favorite things. I like the photos with the little basil sprig :)

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