Basil Pesto Pasta with Butterflied Shrimp


  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves (other herbs (e.g. sage) are fine too; herbs can be frozen)
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste (1/4 tsp salt is about right)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

  • 0.75 pound shrimp (20-25/pound size)
  • tajin salt
  • pasta

Cook pasta.

Combine the basil, garlic, and walnuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Butterfly the shrimp, and season with tajin salt. Saute on med-high heat. Deglaze pan with a bit of white wine, and pour it over the shrimp.

Serves around 3.

Another pesto recipe we’ve enjoyed: carrot top pesto. We cut the olive oil to 1/4 cup.

You can also use whatever herbs you happen to have on hand to make your pesto – we’ve done parsley and cilantro + mint, for instance. If you feel like the pesto needs a little flavor, lemon or lime juice is often a great addition.