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Recipe: Chef Kevin's Pesto Pasta with Shrimp

No Pesto? No problem! Chef Kevin Belton shows you how to make your own.

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).

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