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Simple Seashell Pasta with Shrimp

Posted Feb 12 2013 2:46pm


This weekend I left the bustle of downtown London to spend some quality time with my aunt and uncle in the sleepy suburbs. It was the perfect girly break: shopping in Richmond, delicious meals and lots of dress-up (my aunt has the best wardrobe). I did very well at Top Shop and H&M, and we both fell in love with a naughty pair of Louboutins that neither of us could resist trying on.


Retail therapy isn’t the most relaxing, so by the time Sunday night rolled around we were ready for a night in with a bottle of white and some healthy comfort food.


Seashell Pasta with Shrimp
We started with my favorite pasta shape —seashell— and what fresh ingredients we had at hand: broccoli, courgettes {zucchini}, tomatoes, basil and shrimp.
I always eat salad with my pasta, so I dressed some mixed greens with lemon, olive oil and a splash of white wine. We served the greens right on top of our pasta so that each starchy seashell was complimented by the bright citrus vinaigrette.




My aunt has another clever trick for sauceless pasta dishes like this one: she added the broccoli and courgettes to the boiling noodles as they cooked, instead of apart, with the shrimp. The boiled vegetables break down and help coat the pasta so that the entire dish ends up being quite light overall.


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Simple Seashell Pasta with Shrimp


Ignore the lengthy instructions – this pasta comes together quickly and easily. I love the way that the lemon compliments both the shrimp and the green vegetables. You really must serve it with the salad, too, to enjoy the echoes of the wine in the dressing and sauce. Swap more veggies for shrimp to make this vegan!



{serves 4}


  • 2 small heads broccoli, or one medium 
  • 1 large courgette
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 2 small (350g) packages shrimp, thawed & with shells removed
  • 1 package of fresh basil
  • zest of one lemon
  • 4 servings of your favorite pasta shape
  • your favorite bottle of white wine
  • 1 bag of prepared mixed salad greens
  • 1 small salad onion, chopped
  • White wine dressing:
  • Pine nuts, to garnish
  1. Begin by prepping your ingredients. You want to cut everything into roughly the same size as the seashell pasta shapes, so begin by chopping up your broccoli and courgette.
  2. To prepare the tomatoes, cut x’s into the top of each fruit, place them in a heat-proof bowl and cover them with boiling water. Let them sit until their skin peels off easily, then dice and set aside.
  3. Mince your garlic (use more or less depending on taste), set aside.
  4. Remove the small basil leaves and set aside. Chiffonade the rest.
  5. Prepare a pot of boiling salted water for your pasta.
  6. While water heats up, sautée garlic in olive oil until fragrant {3-5 minutes}.
  7. Add the shrimp and tomatoes to the garlic and sautée over medium heat with a good splash of wine until shrimp are opaque and the sauce has reduced slightly.
  8. Add seashell pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente.
  9. My aunt’s trick: 3-4 minutes before the pasta is done, add your broccoli and courgettes directly to the boiling water. Overcook slightly.
  10. Drain, reserving a ladleful of the cooking liquid, and mix the pasta (plus the broccoli/courgettes) with the shrimp/tomato/white wine ‘sauce’.  Add a little bit of the cooking liquid if your mixture seems too dry.
  11. Add your chopped basil and the zest of one lemon.
  12. Turn pasta over and over with a spoon to blend flavors and encourage the broccoli/courgettes to break down and coat the pasta shells.
  13. Garnish with the small basil leaves, a sprinkling of sea salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon.
  14. Serve with a leafy green salad and a glass of white wine.

This pasta would be a perfect meal to make and enjoy for Valentine’s day with your favorite chef. This single lady is going to be spending the 14th with her (other) Aunt in Cannes. I’m very lucky to have family all over Europe! I leave tomorrow evening, so I should probably stop blogging and start thinking about what to pack ^~

À bientôt, cheries!

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