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Pesto shrimp pasta

July 22, 2011

I WAS EXHAUSTED. It turns out that having a toddler and a baby (plus a husband, house and job) is tiring. I just needed a quick dinner but it had to be healthy. We’d been relying too heavily on pizza around here, being Rome you can imagine how often this possibility comes up, and I was craving something more fresh. That’s when I saw these giant shrimp at the store. Sold!

Inside of 20 minutes dinner was on the table. Better yet, it went from the table into the toddler’s mouth. This was particularly comforting because very few things are more tiring than picking up shrimp from the floor. Unless it’s picking up peas.


Use prepared ingredients where you can here: fresh pesto from the deli, julienned carrots, poached shrimp. The point of this dinner is to be easy, fresh and delicious not difficult. 

Even though I use whole wheat pasta, I pack in the peas and carrots to create a healthier pasta-to-veggie ratio.


  • 1/2 pound whole wheat pasta in whatever shape you like
  • 1/2 cup fresh pesto
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup julienned carrots
  • 1 pound cooked shrimp
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper


Set peas in a bowl on the counter to thaw.

Cook pasta according to package instructions and drain. While the pasta is still warm, stir in about half of the pesto and all the olive oil. Mix it in so the pasta starts to soak up the pesto and oil.

After the pasta mixture cools for a bit add the carrots, peas and remaining pesto. Mix gently. Last add the shrimp. Give a quick toss then dress with lemon juice plus salt and pepper to taste.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 23, 2011 11:33 pm

    Hi Charity.
    Love your web site. I too have brought up my children on a non chicken strip diet! We’ve always eaten dinner together – therefore they eat adult food.

    They are now 14 (boy) and 11 (girl). They have refused the children’s menu for at least five years and my son’s favorite restaurant is Nobu. Oh yeah, and their favorite station is Food Network.

    Keep up the good work.

    • charityc permalink*
      July 24, 2011 2:36 pm

      Thanks Liz! You know, they don’t even have children’s menus here in Italy, which I think is a sign of how important real food is here. Of course, they’re happy to whip up a quick bowl of plain pasta which arrives fast enough to quench tiny (and sometimes cranky) appetites but otherwise the kids eat what we eat, and I love it.

      Speaking of eating, your cold thai cucumber mint soup sounds divine. Rome gets a few heat waves every summer and I’m saving this recipe for the next one.

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