Recipe | California Walnuts Pesto Gemelli Salad with Shrimp

This post is sponsored by California Walnuts

Did you know that walnuts are a significant source of omega-3 fatty acids (2.5g/oz)? Those are the good kind of fats, making walnuts the perfect lunch ingredient. 

Americans are skipping lunch, and this can impact energy levels as well as productivity. I have partnered with California Walnuts to #ChooseLunch to help me feel satiated and more energized throughout the day.

Walnuts are very versatile, so I decided to put a twist on a classic pesto pasta salad by using walnuts as the nut ingredient in this recipe. Hope you enjoy!


INGREDIENTS

Pesto

2 bunches of basil 

6 garlic cloves

½ cup Parmesan cheese

½ cup California walnuts

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

salt + pepper to taste

Pasta Salad

8 oz bag of pasta {I used Gemelli}

½ lb shrimp, 16/20 count

¼ lb cherry tomatoes, halved

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Put all the ingredients for the pesto (except for the oil) into a food processor and pulse until they are evenly chopped.
  • Pour the oil in a steady stream while running the food processor to emulsify. Stop when the mixture is homogeneous.  
  • Set the pesto aside.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to directions on the packaging. I chose Gemelli because of all the crevices in the pasta; it will catch all the pesto goodness!
  • While the pasta is cooking, prepare the shrimp.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan over high heat. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Once the pan is hot, add the shrimp.
  • Cook the shrimp until they are opaque. Do not overcook.
  • Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the shrimp.
  • Stir in the pesto.
  • Add the cherry tomatoes to the pan. Mix until everything is evenly coated. Can be refrigerated for lunch or eaten immediately. 
  • Enjoy!

All the ingredients to make our pasta salad!
Place all the ingredients for the pesto [minus the oil] into the food processor and pulse.
Walnuts are a great substitute ingredient for pesto.
Perfect lunch!

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