Recipe: Arugula Pesto, Corn, and Shrimp Pasta

pesto pasta

I adore this Arugula Pesto, Corn, and Shrimp Pasta recipe for several reasons. The pasta is an ideal backdrop to the rich, salty pesto. The corn brings in not only a contrast of texture, but a sweet note that cuts through the rich sauce. A perfect side for grilling, or add in grilled shrimp as shown to make it a main. Bonus: it can be cooked all on the grill using the side burner, if you have one. Feel free to sub at will; pistachios for the walnuts, Romano for the Parmesan; spinach for the arugula, any protein for the shrimp, the world is your pesto pasta bowl!

pesto pasta
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4.43 from 7 votes

Arugula Pesto and Corn Pasta

Pesto + corn = awesome
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 Servings
Author Jim


  • 1 pound Pasta preferably a whimsical shape like baby shells
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 cup corn (frozen or fresh)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese , plus some for garnish
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/3 cup quality Olive Oil
  • 1 pound shrimp , peeled, deveined, tail off
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flake
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil


  • Bring pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta just shy of al dente (reserving a cup of pasta water).
  • Zest, then juice lemons.
  • To a food processor, pulse garlic until chopped*. Add in walnuts, basil, Parmesan cheese, arugula and juice of both lemons. Pulse until coarse. While running, stream in olive oil. Season with a heavy grind of pepper and a subtle pinch of salt.
  • In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Saute shrimp for 2-3 minutes (if adding shrimp).
  • Add red pepper flake and corn to pan, cook for 2-3 minutes or until shrimp is cooked. Turn heat to low, fold in pasta, pesto, and 1 cup of reserved pasta water.
  • Briefly cook for 1-2 minutes on low, until sauce thickens and pasta absorbs some of the liquid. Serve garnished with lemon zest and grated Parmesan. Enjoy your Arugula Pesto, Corn, and Shrimp Pasta!


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Serving: 6People | Calories: 490kcal

*to tame the intense raw garlic fire, drop the clove into the boiling pasta water for 30 seconds.

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