I had never tried pesto before, I hate to admit it. Yes, I’m a grown adult woman with a bit of life experience, which unfortunately hadn’t included this whole Pesto thingy. I have to say there was no particular reason for not trying it, I just think I didn’t grow up eating it in our household and it was a sort of out-of-sight/out-of-mind kind of thing. But let me tell you, I recently discovered it, and I feel like I had been really missing out.
I know pesto is traditionally made with basil and pine nuts, which to be quite honest, I have yet to try. But I discovered something AMAZING and it goes by the name of ARUGULA PESTO! Okay, okay…I obviously didn’t “discover” this deliciousness into existence, but you catch my drift. I had never experienced this before and it always feels amazing to try something new and end up really enjoying it.
So this is how it came to be, I had a package of arugula in the fridge that was reaching its expiry and I really didn’t want it to go to waste. I wanted to make something that I would enjoy. I know I could have gone with a plain ol’ arugula salad (which is delicious by the way), but i was looking for something with a bit more pizazz. And then I thought, how about I somehow use the arugula in a pasta dish? Which is how I arrived at this Pesto pasta.
Since I didn’t have any basil or pine nuts at home, I used arugula and walnuts for the pesto instead. I also decided to add in some shrimp, which really took this dish over the top. But I would like to say, this dish would be incredible with simply the pesto and the pasta. You may also substitute chicken for the shrimp. It is really up to you. But one thing’s for sure, this recipe is so mouth-wateringly delicious and easy to make. It’s also such a great way to incorporate more greens into your diet!
Arugula Pesto Pasta with Shrimp
- 1 package (375g) Rotini pasta
For the Pesto:
- 1 container (5oz/142g) arugula, rinsed, dried
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt, to taste
For the shrimp:
- 2 pounds shrimp, peeled, deveined
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Rinse, peel and devein the shrimp. Then, salt and pepper shrimp to taste and let marinate for at least a half-hour.
On Medium-High, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add one layer of shrimp at a time. Cook shrimp for a few minutes, flipping until both sides of the shrimp turn pink/orange and opaque.
- In a food processor, add walnuts and garlic. Pulse until chopped finely. Add arugula and Parmesan. Pulse until chopped finely. With food processor running, add ¾ cup of olive oil until smooth. Add salt to taste, as needed.
- Cook pasta as directed by package. Drain.
- Add pesto to pasta, stirring until pasta is well coated. Add shrimp and stir until well blended.
You may substitute chicken for the shrimp, or enjoy this dish with simply pesto and pasta.
I really hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Thanks so much for stopping by! <3
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