Creamy Pesto Shrimp with Gnocchi and Peas, 20 Minute Dinner

This dish for a quick dinner blends shrimp with fluffy gnocchi, pesto, and peas in a creamy sauce. It is quite acceptable to use other vegetables, such as broccoli or asparagus, in place of the peas. You can add some crushed red pepper for a little spice, or you can top it with grated Parmesan cheese to make the flavor more similar to that of savory foods.

Creamy Pesto Shrimp with Gnocchi and Peas: A Quick and Delicious 20-Minute Dinner

Introduction:

In the realm of culinary pursuits, the term “quick and easy” often conjures up visions of lackluster meals hastily assembled from pre-packaged ingredients. However, with a little creativity and the right recipe, it’s entirely possible to whip up a gourmet-worthy dish in mere minutes. Enter creamy pesto shrimp with gnocchi and peas—a delectable combination of flavors and textures that belies its simple preparation. In this article, we’ll explore how to create this mouthwatering meal in just 20 minutes, perfect for busy weeknights or impromptu dinner gatherings.

The Magic of Pesto:

Creamy Pesto Shrimp with Gnocchi and Peas, 20 Minute Dinner
Creamy Pesto Shrimp with Gnocchi and Peas, 20 Minute Dinner

At the heart of this dish lies the vibrant, herbaceous flavor of pesto. Traditionally made with basil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil, pesto adds a burst of freshness and depth to any dish it graces. While you can certainly make your own pesto from scratch, store-bought varieties offer convenience without sacrificing flavor. Opt for a high-quality pesto to ensure the best taste experience.

Gnocchi:

Pillows of Perfection Gnocchi, the Italian dumplings made from potatoes, flour, and sometimes eggs, provide the perfect canvas for showcasing the creamy pesto sauce. Unlike traditional pasta, gnocchi cooks in a fraction of the time, making it an ideal choice for busy cooks. Look for pre-packaged gnocchi in the pasta aisle of your grocery store, or venture into the realm of homemade gnocchi if you’re feeling adventurous. Your reward will be tender, pillowy bites that harmonize beautifully with the other ingredients in this dish.

The Allure of Shrimp:

Shrimp, with its delicate flavor and quick cooking time, serves as the protein powerhouse in this recipe. Choose large, succulent shrimp that have undergone peeling and deveining to expedite the cooking process. Whether fresh or frozen, shrimp cooks in just a few minutes, making it the perfect choice for busy weeknights. Plus, its mild flavor pairs wonderfully with the boldness of the pesto sauce, creating a harmonious balance of taste sensations.

Petite Green Gems:

Peas add a pop of color and sweetness to this dish, complementing the savory elements with their delicate flavor. Whether fresh or frozen, peas cook quickly and require minimal preparation, making them an ideal addition to any weeknight meal. Plus, their vibrant hue adds visual appeal to the final presentation, elevating the overall dining experience.

Creating Creamy Perfection:

Creamy Pesto Shrimp with Gnocchi and Peas, 20 Minute Dinner

To bring this dish together, start by cooking the gnocchi according to package instructions. While the gnocchi simmers away, heat a skillet over medium heat and add a dollop of olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the shrimp to the skillet, seasoning them with salt and pepper to taste. Cook the shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side, or until they turn pink and opaque.

Once cooked through, remove the shrimp from the skillet and set them aside. In the same skillet, add the peas and sauté them until they are tender-crisp, approximately 2–3 minutes. Return the cooked shrimp to the skillet, along with the cooked gnocchi.

Now, it’s time to add the star ingredient:

pesto. Pour the pesto sauce over the shrimp, gnocchi, and peas, stirring gently to coat everything evenly. Let the sauce warm up for a minute or two, making sure the flavors of the pesto infuse all the ingredients.

As a final flourish, sprinkle a generous handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese over the top of the dish, allowing it to melt slightly into the creamy sauce. Garnish with a few torn basil leaves for an extra burst of freshness and aroma.

Serve the creamy pesto shrimp with gnocchi and peas immediately, spooning generous portions onto plates and savoring each mouthful. Pair it with crisp white wine or sparkling water infused with lemon for a refreshing accompaniment that complements the flavors of the dish.

Section 1: The Ingredients

Creamy Pesto Shrimp with Gnocchi and Peas, 20 Minute Dinner

Let’s begin by gathering the ingredients needed to make creamy pesto shrimp with gnocchi and peas. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Shrimp: Fresh or frozen shrimp, peeled and deveined, provide a delectable seafood component to the dish.
  2. Gnocchi: These soft, doughy potato dumplings add a comforting texture to the meal.
  3. Peas: Whether fresh or frozen, peas contribute a burst of sweetness and vibrant color to the dish.
  4. Pesto sauce: A flavorful blend of fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil, pesto sauce forms the base of the creamy sauce.
  5. Heavy cream: Creaminess is key in this dish, and heavy cream adds richness and indulgence to the sauce.
  6. Garlic: Aromatic and savory, garlic enhances the flavors of the dish.
  7. Olive oil: used for sautéing the shrimp and garlic, olive oil adds depth of flavor.
  8. Salt and pepper are essential seasonings that bring out the flavors of the ingredients.

Section 2: Preparation

Now that we have all our ingredients ready, let’s prepare them for cooking.

  1. If using frozen shrimp, thaw them under cold running water and pat them dry with paper towels. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper.
  2. Follow the instructions on the package to cook the gnocchi until they float to the surface, signifying their completion. Drain and set aside.
  3. If using fresh peas, shell them and set them aside. If using frozen peas, no preparation is necessary.
  4. Finely mince the garlic cloves for flavoring the dish.

Section 3: Cooking Instructions

Creamy Pesto Shrimp with Gnocchi and Peas, 20 Minute Dinner

With our ingredients prepped and ready, let’s move on to the cooking process:

  1. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the seasoned shrimp to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they are pink and opaque. Remove the shrimp from the skillet and set aside.
  2. In the same skillet, add another tablespoon of olive oil, if needed. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the heavy cream to the skillet, stirring gently to combine with the garlic. Allow the cream to simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until it begins to thicken slightly.
  4. Add the pesto sauce and stir until it evenly distributes throughout the cream. Allow the sauce to simmer for an additional 1-2 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  5. Add the cooked gnocchi and peas to the skillet, tossing gently to coat them in the creamy pesto sauce. Allow everything to heat through for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Return the cooked shrimp to the skillet, mixing them in with the gnocchi and peas. Continue cooking for a further one to two minutes, or until the mixture reaches the desired temperature.

Section 4: Serving Suggestions

Now that our Creamy Pesto Shrimp with Gnocchi and Peas is ready, it’s time to plate up and enjoy! Here are a few serving suggestions to enhance your dining experience:

  1. Serve the dish hot straight from the skillet for maximum freshness and flavor.
  2. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped basil for an extra burst of flavor and visual appeal.
  3. Pair with a crisp white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, to complement the flavors of the dish.
  4. Serve with a light vinaigrette-dressed simple green salad to add freshness and balance to the meal.

Here’s a recipe for Creamy Pesto Shrimp with Gnocchi and Peas:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 pound of potato gnocchi
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup pesto sauce
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional).
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

Creamy Pesto Shrimp with Gnocchi and Peas, 20 Minute Dinner

  1. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until pink and cooked through. Remove the shrimp from the skillet and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, add the gnocchi and cook according to package instructions until they are tender and float to the surface of the water. Drain the gnocchi and return them to the skillet.
  4. Heat the frozen peas in the skillet with the gnocchi for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the pesto sauce and heavy cream to the skillet. Stir well to combine and heat through, about 2–3 minutes.
  6. Return the cooked shrimp to the skillet, tossing everything together until the creamy pesto sauce coats the shrimp and heats them through.
  7. Remove the skillet from the heat and taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary.
  8. Serve the creamy pesto shrimp with gnocchi and peas hot, garnished with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves if desired.

In conclusion, Creamy Pesto Shrimp with Gnocchi and Peas is a delightful dish that proves you don’t need hours in the kitchen to create a flavorful and satisfying meal. With its succulent shrimp, pillowy gnocchi, and vibrant peas, this recipe is sure to become a favorite in your culinary repertoire. So, the next time you’re short on time but craving something delicious, remember this quick and easy recipe. In just 20 minutes, you can enjoy a restaurant-quality meal in the comfort of your own home. Bon appétit!

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