Garlic Shrimp with Arugula Pesto Pasta

Pesto used to really intimidate me.  Now that I’ve made a million batches of pesto, it makes me laugh to think how far I’ve come because pesto is one of those things that sounds fancier and more difficult than it really is.  It really requires you to throw some ingredients into a food processor…and then apply to whatever vegetable or meat or pasta or bread (or egg…) you’d like.  It meets my requirements for a good meal: healthy, fresh, and easy.  I’ve been doing a lot of different types of pestos lately, so I’ll feature different ways of using your leftover pestos soon.

This pesto is made and then tossed with fresh linguine.  I love the fresh pasta at Whole Foods because you can buy exactly how much you need and no more and it tastes delicious.  Fresh pasta also only boils for about 3 minutes…yet another small win.   The garlic is tossed with some olive oil, fresh lemon juice, pepper, and garlic powder to give it that garlicky goodness.

Total Time: 25 minutes

Serves 4 to 6.


For the Pesto

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (if possible)
  • 2 garlic cloves (optional, John isn’t into raw garlic so we leave this out)
  • 3 cups firmly packed arugula, plus extra for garnish
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup grated pecorino romano cheese, plus more for garnish
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound linguini or whatever pasta your heart desires

For the Shrimp

  • 1 lb medium sized shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • course salt and freshly cracked pepper


  1. In a food processor, combine the pine nuts and garlic.   Process until finely chopped.  Add the 3 cups arugula and process until coarsely chopped. With the processor running, gradually add the olive oil in a steady stream and process until smooth. Turn off the processor and add the lemon juice and cheese, then pulse until combined.  Season with salt and pepper as needed.
  2. Cook the pasta al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. Toss the shrimp with the oil, garlic powder, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.  Saute for about 3 minutes on each side until pink and fully cooked.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the pesto with the pasta until well coated.  Garnish with leftover arugula and cheese.  Serve immediately.

Let me know how you like this!

This recipe was slightly adapted from What’s Gaby Cooking.  She’s awesome and you should follow her on Instagram if you don’t already.

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