Photo of Farfalle with shrimp and pesto by WW

Farfalle with shrimp and pesto

Total Time
24 min
14 min
10 min
We dramatically reduced the amount of oil in this fragrant pesto without compromising flavor or texture. It’s comforting and satisfying—really fantastic. Lemon zest is added to the pesto to keep the flavor and color bright, and the citrus zing makes for the perfect addition to the sauteed shrimp, too. You could add additional lemon juice or zest at the time of serving. Or, to transform this into a creamy pasta, reserve 2 tablespoons or so of the pasta cooking water before draining it and add it to the skillet with 2 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese. Then add the pasta, and toss as directed.


Table salt

tsp, for cooking pasta


2 cup(s), fresh, leaves


6 Tbsp

Grated Parmesan cheese

3 Tbsp, such a Parmigiano-Reggiano

Chopped walnuts

2 Tbsp

Olive oil

4 tsp, extra-virgin, divided


3 clove(s), 2 left whole and 1 minced

Lemon zest

1½ tsp, freshly grated

Table salt

¼ tsp

Uncooked pasta

8 oz, farfalle (bowtie) recommended

Uncooked shrimp

8 oz, about 8 extra-large, peeled, deveined and cut in half lengthwise*

Grape tomatoes

1 cup(s), cut in half


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, process basil, water, cheese, walnuts, 1 tablespoon oil, 2 whole garlic cloves, zest and salt until finely minced; set aside.
  3. When water comes to a boil, add pasta and cook as package directs until al dente, about 10 minutes.
  4. A few minutes before pasta will be done, heat remaining teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; cook, stirring occasionally, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and minced garlic; sauté until shrimp is just cooked through and tomatoes begin to soften, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Drain pasta; add to skillet with shrimp mixture. Off heat, add pesto and toss to coat. Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.


*Or use 1/2 pound of large or medium shrimp, left whole.