Tara Riddle: Shrimp Pasta with Pesto A Dish Best Served Cold (recipe)

Tara Riddle: Shrimp Pasta with Pesto A Dish Best Served Cold (recipe) | Serving Carson City for over 150 years

How many of my fellow Nevadans are feeling that summer heat? It’s just stuffy out there.
Those hot days in July and August make me cringe at the thought of turning on my kitchen oven. Standing in front of a grill with a good spray of white wine doesn’t appeal to me either. That’s when my Quick and Easy Cold Pasta Salad with Pesto rushes in to save your dinnertime heat wave.
This Shrimp Pesto Pasta Salad is perfect for a hot day. It can be finished in 30 minutes or less for those biting in time, and is very versatile to suit your taste. If you don’t eat meat or seafood, you can add artichoke and black olives instead of shrimp.
Shrimp pesto pasta salad
2 lemons (juice and zest)
Lemon pepper seasoning
2 jars of pesto (or a large one)
1 package of cheese tortellini (fresh)
Peeled and deveined raw shrimp
1 packet of frozen peas
Freshly grated Asiago cheese
You want to make sure your shrimp is thawed first. Season the prawns with olive oil, lemon pepper and salt. Next, take a large pot of boiling water for the pasta. Be sure to add salt to the pasta water to season your tortellini. Pour the frozen peas (they don’t need to be thawed) into a large serving bowl. We want to time this so the shrimp and cream cheese tortellini cook at the same time.
Zest and squeeze the juice from both lemons into another small mixing bowl.
Next, heat up your skillet to throw in your shrimp at about the same time your pasta water begins to boil. Cook your shrimp and pasta at the same time. The shrimp will be cooked in about 6 minutes or when they become opaque. Once they’re cooked, turn off the heat and add a pot of pesto to your pan of cooked shrimp along with some of the zest and juice from your lemons.
Save some juice and zest for the end of the pasta. Next, we want to drain the pasta while saving about 1/8 cup of water from your pasta.
Pour your shrimp and pesto mixture into the serving dish with your frozen peas. Now we are going to add the cooked pasta to this dish along with the remaining lemon juice, zest, 1/8 cup pasta water and the other pot of pesto. Gently stir and mix everything together so that there is a nice layer of pesto sauce all over.
The heat from the shrimp and pasta will be enough to thaw your peas. This dish can be made ahead and served cold or warm right after cooking. Garnish with freshly chopped basil and grated asiago cheese. Serve with chilled white or rosé wine.
Tara Riddle is a Realtor at Coldwell Banker Select. She once worked at Comma Coffee in Carson City, making desserts like muffins and soups from scratch. She also works at the Farmer’s Market in Carson City or the Black Rock Bison.