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.


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.


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.


Prepping the zucchini


I started by rinsing and drying some fresh basil.


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)


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.




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


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.


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


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.


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.


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


Then, I added my homemade, freshmade pesto.


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.


Altogether now.




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.


  • 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


  • 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!


10 thoughts on “Pesto Shrimp Fettuccine with Zucchini”

  1. 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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