Thai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp

So, if you’ve been following our blog for a while, you know that I’m kind of obsessed with pasta––especially pasta with a slightly Asian twist (see my Soy Sauce Butter Pasta with Shrimp and Shiitakes and my sister’s ma la cacio e pepe. We do love our carbs).

My dad actually came up with the idea of a Thai basil pesto a few months ago, and I have to admit…I was skeptical. Thai basil, after all, has quite a different flavor when compared with your run of the mill Italian variety. Also called cinnamon basil, Thai basil is most often used in stir-fries, adding a slightly spicy, fragrant flavor to Thai dishes.

Thai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comThai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

I should have more faith in my father’s whacky ideas.

Because this Thai basil pesto was legit. Made with walnuts, fresh garlic, fruity olive oil, Thai basil, and lemon juice, it had great flavor––slightly more…cinnamon-y than regular pesto, but super buttery from the nuts. The minute I put this dish on the table, it was GONE within minutes. It was actually kind of scary how quickly it disappeared from the bowl.

Thai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comThai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

Thai Basil Pesto Pasta: Recipe Instructions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook for 1 minute less than the time recommended on the box. Drain.

Meanwhile make the pesto. In a food processor, add the walnuts and garlic and puree.

Thai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comThai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

Thai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comThai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

Add the Thai basil leaves, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and run the food processor, gradually streaming in the olive oil until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for another 30 seconds. Set aside.

Thai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comThai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

Thai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comThai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

In a separate skillet heated over medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season the shrimp with salt, pepper, and chili powder.

Thai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comThai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

Sear the shrimp until golden and just cooked through. Do not overcook your shrimp! Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.

Thai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comThai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

To the pan, add the cream, pesto and salt and pepper to taste.

Thai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comThai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

Cook for about 1 minute, until thickened slightly. Stir in the pasta and continue cooking for another minute.

Thai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comThai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

Serve, with the shrimp on top.

Thai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comThai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

Thai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comThai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

Thai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comThai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

Thai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.comThai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp, by thewoksoflife.com

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