Gnocchi with Shrimp, Asparagus, & Pesto

I clipped this recipe back in September because its headline caught me: “FAVORITE 20-MINUTE RECIPE #7” is what it said, just above the recipe title.  Color me happy, I thought.  Who couldn’t use a 20 minute recipe? 
And I most certainly would have had this dish pulled together in the alotted 20 minutes had I not (again) gotten distracted.  I first paused to update my facebook status, and then got caught up (as I do) stalking other people’s status’s as well.  Then I spent 15 minutes standing dumbstuck in front of my kitchen tv, where Paula Deen was adding three cups of heavy cream two cups of sugar two sticks of butter and six large eggs to some kind of  heart attack (ack-ack-ack-ack-ack) inducing cake she was creating – it was riveting television, I’ll tell you that much.  Phew.  How does she keep that girlish figure of hers?

So my timeline was more like 40 minutes.  But I’m sure it can be done in 20 as they’ve promised.   I was surprised that such a quick dish could deliver such big flavors – we loved the combination of the shrimp with the gnocchi, the sweet asparagus, and the tangy (but simple!) pesto.


Serves 4
Source:  Cooking Light Magazine, Sept. 2010, p. 146

2 q. + 1 T. water, divided
1 (16 oz.) package vacuum-packed gnocchi (Cucina Viva Brand are on sale this week, 2/16/11 to 2/22/11,  in the pasta aisle)
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1″ lengths (asparagus is on sale)
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined (Sendik’s Raw Shrimp are on sale)

1 c. fresh basil leaves
2 T. pine nuts, toasted
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
2 t. fresh lemon juice
2 large cloves garlic, minced
4 t. olive oil

Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a large Dutch oven.  Add gnocchi to pan; cook 4 minutes or until done (they will rise to the surface).  Remove with a slotted spoon; place in a large bowl.  Add asparagus to pan and cook for three minutes.  Add shrimp and boil and additional 1 1/2 minutes.  Drain well and add asparagus and shirmp to the gnocchi.

Combine remaining 1 tablespoon water, basil, pine nuts, Parmesasn, lemon juice, and garlic in a food processor; process until smooth, scraping sides.  Drizzle oil through food chute with processor running; process until well blended.  Add basil mixture to shrimp mixture; toss to coat.  Serve immediately.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | February 17th, 2011