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.
Creamy Shrimp Pesto Fettuccine
- 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
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles, stirring for the first minute to avoid sticking. Cook according to the package directions, approximately 11-13 minutes for al dente. Drain and return to the pot.
- While the pasta cooks, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the shrimp and cook until pink on both sides and heated through, about 2-3 minutes per sides. Stir in the cherry tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the creme fraiche and basil pesto. Bring the mixture to a simmer and simmer for five minutes. Add the noodles to the pot and stir gently to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.
Recipe adapted from Clodagh’s Kitchen Diaries
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