Asparagus, Mushroom and Shrimp Linguine

Pasta with mushrooms, asparagus and shrimp tossed in a light asparagus, mint and basil puree and topped with chopped walnuts and Parmesan cheese. The asparagus puree is blended with reserved pasta water which helps it bind to the pasta AND  creates a very smooth, creamy texture. Such a great trick!

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Ingredients:
10 oz linguine (or enough for 3)
olive oil
1 lb raw shrimp, de-veined
1 lb asparagus
3 garlic cloves , minced
juice from half of a lemon
1/4 cup of fresh basil
1/4 cup fresh mint
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
Parmesan cheese, for grating

Directions:
1. Cook linguine al dente, according to packaging. Reserve 2 cups of the pasta water for the sauce and cooking. Drain the pasta and set aside.
2. Cut the asparagus into 1/2 inch pieces, but leave the tops in tact. Heat some olive oil in a pan with a clove of garlic for a minute or so. Then add in the asparagus and 1/3 cup of reserved pasta water and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until asparagus is cooked but still a little crunchy. Place about 1/3 of the asparagus in a blender along with 1/4 cup of the pasta water, lemon juice, basil and mint. Blend until smooth. Add salt to taste. Set aside.
3. Heat olive oil and 1 clove of garlic in a pan on medium heat, add shrimp and cook until pink on both sides and cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.
4. Heat olive oil and 1 clove of garlic in a pan on medium heat, add the sliced mushrooms and saute until cooked through. Add shrimp, remaining asparagus, linguine, asparagus sauce, and lemon zest. Toss and cook to allow the pasta to absorb the sauce and flavors. Add more reserved pasta water if needed, to keep the sauce loose.
5. Serve and top with chopped walnuts and some fresh grated Parmesan cheese!

IMG_4347

Poor lighting and patience = bad picture…tasted AMAZING!

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