This meal took 20 minutes to make.  Any meal that takes less than 30 minutes and tastes great gets added to the roster of weekday meals in our household.  It was a big winner.

This was a partial pantry party meal because we were trying to get rid of half empty boxes of pasta in our cupboard as well as shrimp in the freezer.  I purchased my first package of fresh basil at the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market, a couple extra ingredients at the grocery store and we were good to go. 

Like any caprese, this dish tasted like summer.  When heirloom tomatoes are in season in a couple months you can substitute those for the grape tomatoes.. 

Erik was a huge fan of this meal and gave lots of compliments.  This was one of the first actual real meals I’ve made since returning to work (we’ve had lots of sandwiches, frozen pizzas and other convenience meals the past couple weeks).  I just need to focus on quick meals that are still somewhat healthy and taste great and there is no reason why we can’t cook every evening, right?  We’ll see…

Shrimp caprese pasta


Half a box of whole wheat pasta shells
3/4 to 1 cup packed fresh basil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
15-20 raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 garlic cloves, minced
20 small balls fresh mozzarella
20 grape or cherry tomatoes


In a food processor, combine the basil, parmesan and 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and process into pesto consistency.  Set aside. 

Boil noodles according to package instructions.  Drain and set aside. 

In a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium heat.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute.  Add the shrimp and cook about 2 minutes on each side, until the shrimp are pink.  Turn off the heat.

To the frying pan, add the pasta, pesto and tomatoes and stir well until pesto fully coats all the noodles.  Divide among plates or bowls and top with balls of mozzarella. 

Makes about 6 servings