Skillet Pesto Pasta with Shrimp and Pine Nuts Recipe

Skillet Pesto Pasta with Shrimp and Pine Nuts Recipe

[Photographs: Yasmin Fahr]

Note: I recommended saving some of the pasta cooking water just in case you want to loosen up the sauce a little if it seems dry. I only ended up using about a 1/4 of a cup of the water, but I would experiment with adding a little at a time because you can't go back once it's in there. You could continue to cook it a little longer so that it's absorbed but you might lose a little flavor in the process.

  • Yield:Serves 4
  • Active time: 10 minutes
  • Total time:25 minutes


  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 pound linguini, broken in half
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 10 to 12 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3/4 cup bails pesto, preferably homemade
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped


  1. 1.

    Place pinenuts in a 12-inch skillet and heat over high heat, tossing and stirring frequently until lightly toasted. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

  2. 2.

    Heat the water in a 12-inch skillet over high heat until boiling and heavily salt it until it tastes like the sea. Add the linguine and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water, and transfer to a bowl. Toss with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and set aside.

  3. 3.

    Wipe out the skillet, and heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Push the tomatoes to the side and add the shrimp, seasoning those with salt and pepper on both sides. Cook until pink and opaque, about 4 minutes total, flipping once half way through cooking.

  4. 4.

    Add the pasta back to the pan, stir in the pesto and pine nuts until combined. Add reserved pasta water as necessary, adding a little at a time until it reacjes desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper, transfer to warm serving bowls, top with basil, and serve.