Shrimp, zucchini and basil pesto pasta
This dish is really a keeper! It’s simple, delicious and colorful – it looks so pretty on a plate. It’s a great idea for a quick lunch after work and perfect as well for a more elegant occasion. I pan-fry quickly the shrimps and zucchini in a pan, then season with a little lemon juice (or white wine) and basil pesto. If you’re using wine instead of lemon juice, add a little bit lemon zest, it brightens the dish up. I also add fresh tomatoes, they make the whole dish lighter. I used date tomatoes here, I really like their denser texture, they’re more flavourful in my opinion as, for example, cherry tomatoes. You can use a store-bought pesto or make your own. Here you’ll find the basic basil pesto recipe (+ a couple of my thoughts, including lots of alternative ingredients ideas). It’s really worth making homemade pesto, you just have to mix a few ingredients together and it tastes a lot better than the one from a jar.
I really encourage you to give this basil pesto pasta a try, but if you’re looking for other quick pasta recipes then check out these:
Shrimp zucchini and basil pesto pasta
- 160 g / 5.6 oz pasta I used fusilli
- 2 tablespoons clarified butter for pan-frying
- 225 g / 8 oz shrimp/prawn peeled, deveined, thawed if frozen
- 1 medium zucchini
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice or 3 tablespoons dry white wine
- 10 date tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
- 2/3 cup basil pesto or the whole amount of my homemade basil pesto recipe (linked above)
- salt and pepper to taste
- basil leaves
- grated parmesan cheese
- Cook the pasta al dente.
- If you’re using frozen shrimps, thaw them – put them into a bowl filled with cold water, when they’re thawed, pat them dry thoroughly with paper towels (it would be better to do it the day before and leave them in the fridge to dry a little – it will be easier to brown them, but this step is not necessary).
- Heat clarified butter on a large frying pan. Pan fry the shrimp, preferably in two batches, first for 2-3 minutes on one side, until golden, then turn them over and cook for about 30 seconds on the other side. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, stir and transfer to a plate. Shrimp need only to change their color from gray to pink, if cooked for too long will be tough and rubbery. If you don’t have clarified butter, you can fry the shrimp in a small amount of frying oil and at the end add a tablespoon of butter.
- Cut the zucchini lengthwise in half, then into ½ cm / ¼ inch slices. Add to the pan, cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender.
- Add lemon juice (or wine) to the pan, season with salt and pepper, scrape with a spatula all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Remove the pan from the heat, add the cooked pasta, shrimps, cut in half tomatoes and basil pesto.
- Mix everything together, season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve sprinkled with basil leaves and optionally grated Parmesan cheese.
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how you liked it in the comments below!
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