This tangy pasta and shrimp dish is so flavorful. With added asparagus, pistachios, and parmesan cheese it’s sure to become a favorite.
I started working on this tangy pasta with shrimp recipe over the summer, changing ingredients a little every time I made it. This version is my favorite, so I’m sharing it with you. I hope you try it and, as always, please let me know if you like it.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- orecchiette rigate pasta or any shell pasta
- butter and olive oil
- sliced leek and some garlic
- lemon juice
- parmesan cheese
- chopped pistachios for garnish
I left the parmesan cheese in the package to show that it’s vegetarian. Some parmesan cheese contains animal rennet, so if you’re picky about that kind of thing, be sure to check the labels.
Kefir might be new to you, but it’s been around for thousands of years. I’ve been adding it to my smoothies instead of yogurt for a long time, but I had never used it for anything else until I made this pasta sauce. Kefir is the ingredient that adds the tangy flavor to this recipe. Look for it in the dairy section, but if you can’t find it, you can use cultured buttermilk instead. To read more about kefir, check out this article.
All of the other ingredients are standard fare, but sprinkling chopped pistachios onto a pasta dish might be a new thing. Trust me, you’ll love it.
Making Tangy Pasta with Shrimp
The key to simplifying this tangy pasta with shrimp recipe is to do the food prep while the pasta cooks. Start heating the pasta water right away. As the water heats, get out the other ingredients and get them ready. While the pasta is cooking, start sautéing the skillet ingredients.
You don’t need to cut asparagus. This vegetable “knows where to break”. Just grab a spear with both hands, bend, and the asparagus will snap. I was able to get about three pieces out of each spear. Discard the tough end pieces. Add the tail-off, pre-cooked shrimp to the sauté mixture in the skillet at the same time you add the garlic. This step warms the shrimp and adds flavor.
The sauce is a simple mixture of kefir and lemon juice. Stir those two ingredients in a mixing cup and set the mixture aside until you’re ready to add it to the cooked pasta and gently heat right before serving.
Serving Tangy Pasta with Shrimp
This is the easy part, right? Put the pasta and sauce in a bowl and spoon the skillet ingredients into each bowl.
Sprinkle the shredded parmesan cheese on top, along with chopped pistachios. You can eat it with a spoon or a fork. Because everything is in one bowl, you don’t need a side-dish. A glass of wine is a nice addition, though.
If you like pasta, you might want to try these recipes:
Tangy Pasta with Shrimp
- 8 ounces 2 cups dry orecchiette rigate pasta (other shell pasta will work)
- 15-20 spears of asparagus
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 leek sliced
- 2 garlic cloves minced or put through a garlic press
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 cup Kefir substitute cultured buttermilk if you can’t find kefir
- 1.5 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- Optional 1/3 cup chopped pistachios
Food Prep Steps
- Start heating the water for the pasta.
- Wash and slice the leek into rounds or semi-circles.
- Mince the garlic or put it through a garlic press.
- Rinse the asparagus and pat it dry.
- Snap the asparagus into pieces, discarding the tough ends.
- Thaw out the shrimp according to package instructions.
- Mix the Kefir and lemon juice in a bowl or measuring cup and set aside.
- When the water starts to boil, add the pasta and cook according to package instructions (about 8 minutes).
- Add the butter and olive oil to a skillet on medium heat.
- Add the leeks and the asparagus and sauté for about 4 minutes.
- Add the garlic and the shrimp and cook about 2-3 more minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Drain the pasta and return it to the pan.
- Add the Kefir/lemon juice mixture to the pasta and stir, heating it on low heat just long enough to warm the kefir sauce.
- Put the pasta with sauce in bowls and spoon the skillet ingredients on top.
- Sprinkle shredded parmesan cheese and chopped pistachios on top.
Products used in this recipe
I used my Vremi Food chopper on the pistachios.