Parsley Pesto Shrimp Pasta


Servings:  4

Prep Time:  7 minutes

Cook Time:  30 minutes

*Your Chef will lead you through all the techniques, so prepping ahead of class is optional 

        Ingredients for Pesto:

        • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped (or 1 tablespoon garlic powder)
        • ½ cup blanched, unsalted almonds, lightly toasted (or walnuts or pecans)
        • 2 cups Italian parsley, lightly packed, tough stems removed (if needed)
        •  cup Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, grated, plus more for garnish 
        • zest and juice of 1 medium lemon
        • olive oil, as needed
        • Kosher salt, to taste
        • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
        • crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

          Ingredients for Shrimp & Pasta:

          • 4 ounces diced pancetta (or bacon), optional
          • 1 medium shallot, minced (or ¼ of a yellow onion)
          • 2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 tablespoon garlic powder)
          • 1 pound small shrimp (36-45), peeled and deveined (can substitute with mushrooms or eggplant)
          • 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen peas (if using frozen, they do not have to be defrosted before cooking)
          • Kosher salt, to taste
          • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
          • Italian parsley leaves, roughly chopped, for garnish
          • lemon wedges, for garnish
          • 1 pound dried spaghetti (or your favorite pasta)

            Procedure:

            1. Bring a large stockpot of salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente (toothsome). Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water for later. Toss with a little olive oil to prevent the noodles from sticking together and set aside.
            2. To make Pesto: Place the garlic and almonds in the bowl of a food processor or blender and pulse until the almonds are broken down to lentil sized pieces. Add the parsley along with the zest and juice of the lemon and process until the parsley is chopped finely. Turn the processor or blender on low speed and slowly drizzle in olive oil until it reaches the consistency of cold tomato sauce. Stir in the Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar. Taste and season with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes (if desired) and more lemon juice as needed.
            3. To make Shrimp: Place the pancetta in a large saute pan and turn the heat on to medium. Cook until the fat has rendered out and the pancetta is crispy, approximately 5 minutes. Transfer the pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour out any leftover fat from the pan until there is about 1 tablespoon remaining.
            4. Return the pan to medium heat and add the shallot and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes or until the shallots turn translucent and the garlic is aromatic. Add the shrimp and 3 tablespoons of pasta water and turn the heat up to high. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the shrimp begin to turn pink and opaque.
            5. Add the peas and pasta to the pan and lower the heat back to medium. Toss with tongs to incorporate the pasta and peas with the shrimp. Stir in half of the pesto, adding more as needed, until it coats the pasta evenly. Add the pancetta and more pasta water, if needed, to thin out the pesto. Remove from the heat and taste, seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
            6. Divide amongst 4 bowls and garnish with grated Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, chopped parsley and lemon wedges.

               

               

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