This week we’re all about seafood! Our Grilled Shrimp Pasta with Mint Pesto and Peas is simply gorgeous to look at and delicious to eat. It is also the poster child for using freezer and pantry items to whip up a satisfying meal in minutes. It quickly marries a favorite pesto of mine with low calorie, high protein shrimp, studded with a smattering of that great pantry standby, frozen peas. I usually keep wholewheat spaghettini in my pantry which takes under 5 minutes to cook, so if like me, you have pesto in your freezer too, by the time the shrimp are grilled, everything else will be ready to toss together.
1.In a medium bowl beat the lemon juice and olive oil together. Add the shrimp and turn to mix until the shrimp are coated in the oil and lemon. Cover with a cloth and set aside in a cool place.
2. Set a large pot of salted water on to boil, and place a large pasta serving bowl over it like a lid. This will heat the bowl. Pre-heat your broiler or set a cast iron grill or over a medium flame. When the water boils, add the spaghettini and set the timer for 4½ minutes. When the water is at a rolling boil again, add the frozen peas to the pasta.
3. Meanwhile, tip the shrimp onto the hot grill and quickly spread them out into a single layer. Sprinkle with a little salt. When they are pink on one side, about 2 minutes. Turn them and cook them 1-2 minutes more.
4. When the spaghettini are ready, remove the pasta serving bowl and wipe the bottom dry. Add the pesto to the heated bowl. Reserve ½ cup of the hot cooking water and drain the spaghettini and peas into a colander. Mix ¼ cup of the hot pasta water with the pesto to loosen it. Add more, a tablespoon at a time, if needed. Tip in the hot pasta and peas, add the grilled shrimp and toss everything together. Taste for salt. Serve immediately.
Ann's Tips and Tricks
To keep wholewheat pasta ‘al dente’ always undercook it, by 1 minute less than packet instructions if adding it to a sauce to cook a little more, or 30 seconds for pesto and other raw sauces as here.
This dish is also delicious made with the arugula pesto from our cookbook.