Creamy Pesto-and-Shrimp Penne with Peas


Pre-peeled shrimp, frozen peas, and store-bought pesto makes this flavorful pasta come together in minutes. Instead of buying the jarred, shelf-stable version, choose the kind found in the refrigerator case (we like Bear Pond Farm Premium Basil Pesto). It tastes fresher and more like homemade. Make sure to reserve some of the pasta cooking water; you'll stir it in at the end to make a silky sauce.

Creamy Pesto-and-Shrimp Penne with Peas
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Torie Cox
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
6 serves


  • 12 ounces uncooked penne

  • 1 pound medium-size peeled, deveined raw shrimp

  • 1 cup frozen sweet peas

  • 1 (7-oz.) container refrigerated basil pesto

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, shaved (about 1/2 cup)


  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions in a pot of salted boiling water, adding shrimp and peas to water during final 2 minutes of cook time. Drain pasta mixture, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water in a small heatproof bowl. Return pasta mixture to pot.

  2. Add pesto, salt, and pepper to pasta mixture; stir to combine. Stir in reserved cooking water as needed, 1/4 cup at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Transfer pasta mixture to a serving bowl; sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve immediately.

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