A bright dish of lemon asparagus pasta perked up with shrimp and crunchy pistachios. Ready in less than 30 minutes, this meal is perfect for adding some variety to busy weeknight comfort food!
This dish combines so many wonderful things, it’s really no surprise that they come together into a delightful dinner.
Pasta? Yes. Shrimp? Yes. (Although you can easily leave those out for a vegetarian dish, or sub with a bit of mozzarella.) Lemon for a bit of zing? Yes. Crisp, bright asparagus? Yes. And then, for one last element of surprise and crunch, pistachios!
It only recently dawned on me that I’ve become slightly obsessed with pistachios. See: double chocolate pistachio cookies. This sugar snap pea salad with pistachios and buffalo mozzarella. And I’ve also been putting them in all kinds of other salads and pestos recently. They have such a wonderful flavor, yet are, I think, often unexpected. I like that. 🙂
And, back to that asparagus. SO HAPPY when asparagus comes into season. I buy it practically every time I grocery shop in the spring.
So, this dish is delicious – pasta dressed lightly with lemon and olive oil, surrounded by asparagus, shrimp, fresh herbs, and pistachios. It also is cook-friendly – easy and quick to prepare. Plus, it deconstructs easily, if you have picky eaters who only want to eat some parts of it, or who want everything separated on their plates.
Ahem. (Yes, still highly choosy here, though getting a little better – maybe? – as we turn the corner to 3.)
How To Make Lemon Asparagus Pasta, Step by Step
So, the breakdown – you’ll need two pans. In one, cook the pasta. The other will handle everything else!
- Sauté the shrimp, and briefly remove it from the pan to a plate. Now sauté the asparagus in the very same skillet.
- Once the asparagus is tender enough to eat, which should take about 5 minutes, you’ll just add in the pasta, followed by, well, everything else.
Easy To Deconstruct
This process makes it very easy to just spoon out or transfer a small portion before you continue to add the rest of the ingredients. As you can see from our plates below, I decided to try the asparagus in Henry’s bowl, but didn’t even bother with the shrimp or pistachios.
Normally I’m all about exposure and encouraging and just putting it in front of him. But I knew those shrimp were definitely not going into my son’s belly that night, and honestly, they are just too delicious to waste. 🙂 Also, I knew that mixing in the suspicious interlopers would make him far more skeptical of the whole affair.
It was simple enough to put a small separate dish with pistachios on his placemat just to see. I don’t think it’s impossible that he’ll come around on pistachios, because he really adores cashews! Hope springs eternal, after all.
So, there you have it! A simple lemon asparagus pasta dolled up with plump shrimp, fresh herbs, and crunchy pistachios. Another weeknight hero here!
If you’ve tried this pasta or any other recipe on the blog, please remember to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing from you, and other readers will benefit from your experience!
Lemon Asparagus Pasta with Shrimp and Pistachios
- 8 ounces (about 250 grams) pasta
- 8 ounces (about 250 grams) fresh green asparagus
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 12 ounces (340 grams) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- salt and freshly-ground black pepper
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 3/4 cup shelled pistachios
- grated Parmesan, for serving
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, trim the woody ends off the asparagus, then chop the spears into pieces 2-3” in length. Set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and olive oil. When the butter is completely melted, add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds, just until fragrant.
- Add shrimp to the skillet in an even layer, then season with salt and pepper. Cook shrimp for about 2 minutes on each side, just until they are opaque and no longer pink. Remove shrimp to a plate and set aside.
- Keep the pan over medium heat; if it looks dry, add an extra drizzle of olive oil. Add the asparagus, season with salt and pepper, and saute for 4-5 minutes. Add the cooked pasta and lemon juice, and stir to combine.
- Return the cooked shrimp to the pan, followed by the parsley, basil, and pistachios. Stir to combine, and remove pan from the heat. Serve right away, passing some grated Parmesan at the table, if desired.
- Recipe inspired by this dish from Joy the Baker.