NEW ORLEANS —
Pesto Pasta with Shrimp
- 4 qts. chicken stock
- 12 oz. penne
- 2 cup baby spinach
- 1 cup basil, fresh
- 1/3-1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
- 1/3 cup pine nuts or almonds
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup peas
- Crushed red chili flakes (optional), for garnish
- Green onions and parsley, also for garnish
In a large pot of stock, add 1 Tbsp of salt and bring to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water, and return to pot.
In a small food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse spinach, basil and olive oil until combined. Add Parmesan, pine nuts or almonds and garlic and season with salt and pepper.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat remaining tablespoon olive oil. Add shrimp and cook until pink, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add pasta, pesto and peas to skillet and toss until completely combined. Stir in 1/4 cup pasta water and stir until creamy.
Sprinkle with Parmesan and chili flakes (if using).