Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Creamy Pesto Shrimp and Spinach Whole Wheat Pasta

Tonight was Shrimp Pasta on the menu. I had some frozen shrimp to use. I wanted to use the shrimp and then looked up a few recipes online to see how other people would make shrimp pasta. I saw a lot of Alfredo and Linguini and a few pesto, even some with tomato stuff. So I had a lot of options to choose from if I was going to copy a recipe already online. However, I saw a recipe for creamy pesto, and I had a "lightbulb" moment. Don't you just love those... :) I sure do. So I read how they made it and then I realized I was missing a few items to make this and I had to go to Walmart to get a few uniform shirts for my son. So I picked up half and half and some parmesan cheese. That's all I needed for a delicious meal.

Long story short. I made up my own recipe. I have to say this is by far my favorite shrimp pasta I've made. What do you think?

2-3 cups half and half
1 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 stick butter
4 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
3 cups fresh spinach
1/5 orange bell pepper, minced
2 fresh basil leaves
1/2 tsp garlic, minced
1 pkg Knoll pesto mix
60-70 medium shrimp (deveined, peeled, tails off, raw)
1-1lb package dried pasta of choice

In a large pot bring water to boil, add salt and pasta, stirring, then cook til al dente. Drain leaving about1 cup of pasta water in the pot and place back on the burner. While pasta is cooking mix the following:

In a small sauce pan over medium heat add the butter and garlic. When the butter is completely melted and bubbly, add the flour (making a rue). Then gradually add in the half and half. stirring constantly. once thickened add the parmesan cheese and the pesto mix. Stir well. This should be fairly thick, if too thick, add more half and half or 2%milk to thin out a little. (don't thin too much). Once this is thickened and mixed together. Turn off heat.

Cut up the bell pepper, garlic and basil in a small chopper. Then add to the finished pasta along with the cut, fresh spinach. Then stir. Once evenly distributed add the shrimp. Cook until shrimp turns pink. Once the shrimp is pink, add the creamy pesto sauce to the pasta/shrimp/spinach mixture. Stirring over medium heat until slightly thickened. Then turn off heat and let set for 5 min. The sauce with continue to thicken. Then serve.

Believe it or not, this meal only took me 30 minutes to prepare and make. This is so good and full of vitamins. You can substitute milk for the half and half. But the sauce was delicious. I got all of my kids to eat their whole plates, My oldest had two plates full. That's huge! I was full with one plate since it's such a filling dish. This will have enough for almost 7 people with a hearty appetite. I hope you really enjoy this dish, as much as we did :)

Once the pasta is finished and the sauce is finished.

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