Thai Basil Pesto Pasta with Spicy Shrimp

March 31, 2023

My taste buds are constantly on the lookout for the next pasta fix, and nothing tickles them quite like a bowl of Thai basil pesto pasta. As a nation, our love affair with carbs is no secret, and this dish is no exception.

A Thai basil pesto was an idea proposed by my father a few months ago, and I’ll admit: at first, I was skeptical. After all, Thai basil tastes very different from regular Italian basil. Thai basil, also known as cinnamon basil, is commonly used in stir-fries because of the spicy, fragrant flavor it adds to Thai cuisine.

I should put more stock in my father’s outlandish suggestions.

This pesto made with Thai basil was the real deal. The walnut pesto I made with fresh garlic, fruity olive oil, Thai basil, and lemon juice had a wonderful flavor, slightly more cinnamon-y than traditional pesto but still extremely buttery from the nuts. Within minutes of setting this dish out, it had vanished. The speed with which it vanished from the bowl was quite unsettling.


You’ll Need:

  • 1 lb. of dried pasta(450g)
  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 lb. of large-sized shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. of chili powder
  • 1 cup of heavy cream (235 ml)

Foe The Pesto:

  • 1/3 cup of toasted walnuts
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups of thai basil leaves (packed)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese


  1. Put some salt into a large pot of water and get it boiling. Put in the pasta and reduce the cooking time by a minute from what the package says. Drain.
  2. While waiting, prepare the pesto. Put the walnuts and garlic cloves in a food processor and blitz until smooth. First, combine the basil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Next, slowly pour in the olive oil while the machine is running. Parmesan cheese should be added, and the mixture pureed for 30 seconds. Putting aside.
  3. Two tablespoons of olive oil should be heated in a separate skillet over medium heat. Add salt, pepper, and chili powder to the shrimp. Shrimp should be seared until golden and opaque throughout. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp. Take the shrimp out of the skillet.
  4. Cream, pesto, and salt and pepper to taste should be added to the pan. Keep cooking for about a minute or until it begins to thicken. Toss the pasta in and keep it on the heat for another minute. As a finishing touch, place the shrimp on top of the serving.
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