Pistachio Pesto Pasta with Shrimp

by simplylife on August 5, 2013

Friends!  I have missed you!

You may have noticed that I’ve been posting a little less frequently lately.  Trust me, it’s not because I’m experimenting less in the kitchen or experiencing a shortage of recipe inspirations.

In fact, on more than a few occasions recently I’ve found myself thinking in blog posts.  Yes…rather than having any type of “normal” cohesive thoughts, I have caught myself thinking in terms of typing-up a post and sharing something great with all of you.


But, as we all deal with, there just never seems to be enough time in the day and well, blogging takes a lot of time.  To be completely honest, I didn’t realize just how much time I was spending writing/editing/preparing blog posts until I stopped doing it as much.  Good thing it’s a hobby I love!…but it still takes quite a bit of time.

And if we’re being honest here:  Yes, my priorities are that job I have, that incredible husband I’ve now been married to for 6 {!!!} years (hoping to share our anniversary dinner soon!), exercising, sleeping, moving (oh yeah, that takes a bit of time 😉 ) and all those good things.  But, I’ve also just been enjoying reading more books this summer, hanging out with friends, and catching-up on So You Think You Can Dance (don’t judge; I love that show 🙂 ).

So, in posting less frequently, I’ve become much more choosy about which recipes I share.  I want to make sure they are really worth trying!


This Pistachio Pesto Pasta with Shrimp definitely fits that category.  It is elegant, light and blends together flavors that dance upon your taste-buds.  Oh, and it’s also shockingly easy to prepare!

Seriously though, who doesn’t love slightly salty pistachios?  And blended together with some fresh basil, parmesan and olive oil?  Yeah, I’d say that’s perfection in a sauce (actually it’s so good I would recommend making extra; I’ve been spreading it on sandwiches and slices of toasted bread – so good).  Now, topped with plump shrimp and a touch of red pepper flakes?  Just hand over that cloth to wipe my drool, please.

Pistachio Pesto Pasta with Shrimp

by Simply Life

Inspired by Rachel Ray Magazine (yeah, that’s right; I’ve been holding onto the recipe torn-out of a magazine since 2010.  Better late then never, right? 😉 )

Keywords: saute entree nuts seafood pasta Mediterranean Italian summer


    Pistachio Pesto

    • 1 garlic clove
    • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
    • 1/3 – 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
    • 1/4 cup lightly salted pistachio nuts, toasted (if you buy salted/unsalted, just adjust any added salt)
    • Juice from one lemon (reseverving one “squeeze” for end of dish)
    • 1/3 cup olive oil
    • Salt and pepper, to taste

    For the Pasta

    • 1 lb. whole wheat spaghetti or linguine
    • 2 tbs. olive oil
    • 1 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp
    • Pinch of red pepper flakes


    In a small saucepan, add the garlic clove (whole) and cook over medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes. Place garlic clove in the food processor and add basil, parmesan cheese, pistachios and lemon juice. Blend together for a few seconds. Slowly add olive oil until desired consistency is reached. Add salt and pepper to taste, and adjust any other ingredients until desired taste. Set aside.

    Cook pasta in large pot according to package directions, reserve 1/2 cup cooking water. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbs. olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and season with salt, pepper and touch of red pepper flakes. Cook until until firm, about 5 minutes.

    Toss pasta with pesto sauce (add touch of olive oil and/or cooking water, if needed, for desired consistency). Top with cooked shrimp. Add squeeze of lemon juice, if desired. Serve and enjoy!

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    ~If you have a blog, how has your time that you devote to blogging changed over time?

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    • itzyskitchen

      mmm- pistachio pesto sounds amazing! I totally feel for you- I pulled way back on my blogging. Its just too much! Josh and I celebrated our 6th year yesterday!

      • http://www.simplylifeblog.com/ Simply Life


    • http://whatisbakinginthebarbershop.blogspot.com/ Colleen

      How unique! This sounds wonderful!
      Glad you’ve been taking some time to relax 🙂

    • The Candid RD

      Those shrimp look so perfect!! And, pistachio pesto?! Where has this been all my life??

    • http://www.confessionsofachocoholic.com/ Bianca Garcia

      I don’t think I’ve ever had pistachio pasta but it does sound delicious.

      My blogging habits have definitely changed over time – mostly I just try to plan everything in advance, but if I can’t, I’ve learned to not take it too hard on myself. And I also prioritize quality over quantity!

    • http://www.myplaceintherace.com/ Shannon ~ My Place In The Race

      Looks good! Unfortunately my hubby is allergic to shrimp. Even the smell makes him nauseous. Such a tragedy…

    • http://www.culinarycolleen.com/ Colleen

      I’ve been making lots of pestos this summer, but somehow haven’t tried using pistachios yet. Adding this to the list!

    • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca)

      I like that your pesto uses pistachios instead of pine nuts, since I am allergic to pine nuts.

    • http://www.wearenotmartha.com wearenotmartha

      I love pistachios and I love pasta, so yes to all of this!! Congrats on 6 years 🙂


    • http://www.quarterlifecrisiscuisine.com/ Ashley Bee

      Looks amazing! I am a big fan of shrimp, and even have some in my freezer waiting to be used!

    • yummychunklet

      The shrimp look nice and plump!

    • http://www.acambridgestory.com Emily

      I hear ya on being choosey about blog posts. This sounds like a good one though. Can’t beat simple pasta and shrimp for dinner!

    • Dan from Platter Talk

      This looks and sounds absolutely wonderful. Great post!!

    • Jen @ The Scrumptious Pumpkin

      Pistachio pesto sounds so fantastic with shrimp and pasta! The perfect summer evening meal. And I love So You Think You Can Dance too 🙂

    • Monet@anecdotesandapples.com

      I just had my first baby…so my blogging habits have certainly changed! I think it’s good to take a step back and evaluate how we’re spending our time. This pasta looks just delicious! I wish I had a plate in front of me now. Thank you for sharing!

      • http://www.simplylifeblog.com/ Simply Life

        Yes! I LOVE reading about your beautiful new baby! 🙂

    • Mom

      Glad you went back into your archived magazines to pull this one out, it looks great!

    • Daniela

      Sounds like an amazing, creative Pasta recipe.
      Love the combination of spices in this dish.
      Glad you are back 🙂

    • Riccardi

      This is my signature pasta, I really master this. To prepare the pistachio sauce (I call it cream), I use to blend pistachio with some “Panna da cucina” something hard to find here in Canada (I use to get it from Italy when I go back all the time), milk, and a FEW DROPS of shriracha or tabasco sauce (just for that little hot “back-taste”) and a very little salt and pepper. for Shrimps, I first boil them if they’re frozen (to make sure I kill any possible bacteria) then pan-fry with a little olive oil and a little cognac or brandy.

      I don’t use spaghetti at all, just linguine or tagliatelle or even better, pappardelle.

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