Pesto is a great big-batch sauce for using up a mix of herbs and greens, but it tends to go army-green if made ahead. We quickly blanch spinach and basil to preserve the color without diluting flavor, then bump up the green with fresh parsley. A little chopped tomato adds moisture and mild acidity. Be sure to press the plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pesto to keep it from browning. A simple shrimp and asparagus pasta toss lets the pesto shine; you could also use chicken breast, broccoli florets, or haricots verts.This recipe goes with: Pesto Chicken with Blistered Tomatoes

Deb Wise
Recipe by Cooking Light April 2017

Gallery

Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe Summary

active:
45 mins
total:
50 mins
Yield:
Serves 4 (serving size: 1 3/4 cups)
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

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  • 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. Reserve for Pesto Chicken with Blistered Tomatoes and Vegetable Soup au Pisto.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Nutrition Facts

409 calories; fat 15.5g; saturated fat 3.6g; mono fat 5.6g; poly fat 4.4g; protein 27g; carbohydrates 50g; fiber 9g; cholesterol 154mg; iron 5mg; sodium 443mg; calcium 163mg; sugars 3g; added sugar 0g.
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