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!
Arugula Pesto and Corn Pasta
- 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!
*to tame the intense raw garlic fire, drop the clove into the boiling pasta water for 30 seconds.