Just say no to boring weeknight meals. This dreamy Shrimp Pesto Pasta can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes but tastes positively extravagant.
Back in my high school days, nothing said puppy love quite like date night at Olive Garden. Growing up in the country meant our nearest city attraction was a suburban chain restaurant and an air conditioned theater. You knew it was really love when neither of you minded double dipping the breadsticks in that pool of Alfredo sauce.
Years later, I still think of pasta as special occasion food. Maybe it’s my childhood fondness for Lady and the Tramp, but nothing seems more romantic than sharing a giant plate of saucy, twirly noodles.
Luckily, these days fettuccine is no longer limited to a special date night. This 30 Minute Shrimp Pesto Fettuccine can elevate any ho hum weeknight into a steamy affair. This creamy pesto sauce dotted with plump shrimp and cherry tomatoes has all the luxury of your favorite restaurant without the heavy price tag. And BONUS, you don’t have to get dressed up to enjoy this sultry little number. Indulge in your sweat pants, or heck, don’t wear pants at all. I’m not here to judge.
The secret to this ultra creamy sauce is creme fraiche. If you’ve never tried creme fraiche before, you’re not alone. The stuff has only recently entered my cooking radar. Creme fraiche is a soured cream (sounds lovely doesn’t it?), with a lovely, rich tang that’s not quite as sour as traditional sour cream. If you’re having trouble finding it, you can make a super easy substitute with just heavy cream and buttermilk. It’s literally nothing more than stirring the two ingredients together and letting them sit overnight until thickened. I’ve included instructions for using the substitute below in case you need them!
Whether you can get your hands on the real thing, or you whip up your own version of creme fraiche, you won’t want to miss out on this super simple, elegant pasta dish. Serve it at a dinner party or for a party of one. Either way, it’ll make you feel downright fancy.
- 8 ounces fettuccine noodles
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 20 peeled and deveined shrimp
- 15 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- Kosher Salt and Pepper
- 1 cup creme fraiche (see note for substitution)
- 2/3 cup basil pesto
- 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
If you can't find creme fraiche, you can whip up this easy substitute. The night before you make the pasta, stir together 1 cup heavy whipping cream and 3 Tablespoons buttermilk. Cover with a cloth and let sit in a room temperature spot until thickened, 12-16 hours. Don't worry about it spoiling! The acid prevents the growth of bacteria. Store the thickened mixture in the fridge for up to 1 week and use in place of creme fraiche on a 1 to 1 ratio.
Recipe adapted from Clodagh’s Kitchen Diaries
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