Healthy recipe: Basil, shrimp & zucchini pasta

Yield: 4 servings, about 1 1/4 cups each

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Recipe Description:

This quick-cooking, healthy dinner is a simple combination of zucchini, shrimp and pasta flecked with plenty of fresh basil. If you have leftover cooked pasta from another meal, use it and skip Step 2. Since the recipe combines a starch, vegetables and the shrimp, all you need is a fruit or vegetable salad to round out the menu.

Recipe Ingredients:

  1. 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, divided
  2. 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  3. 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or more to taste
  7. Pinch of cayenne pepper, or to taste
  8. 1 pound peeled and deveined raw shrimp (31-40 per pound; see Note)
  9. 2 cups orecchiette or other small pasta, preferably whole-wheat
  10. 2 medium zucchini or summer squash or 1 of each.

Recipe Steps:

  1. Combine 1/4 cup basil, tomato sauce, 2 teaspoons oil, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne in a medium bowl. Stir in shrimp; let stand for at least 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pan of boiling water until just tender, 8 to 11 minutes or according to package directions. Drain.
  3. Quarter squash lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the shrimp mixture along with the squash. Cook, stirring, until the shrimp are pink and just barely cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the pasta and heat, stirring, until piping hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup basil and season with pepper.

Recipe Tips & Notes:

Note: Shrimp is usually sold by the number needed to make one pound. For example, “21-25 count” means there will be 21 to 25 shrimp in a pound. Size names, such as “large” or “extra large,” are not standardized, so to get the size you want, order by the count per pound. Both wild-caught and farm-raised shrimp can damage the surrounding ecosystems when not managed properly. Fortunately, it is possible to buy shrimp that have been raised or caught with sound environmental practices. Look for fresh or frozen shrimp certified by an independent agency, such as the Marine Stewardship Council. If you can’t find certified shrimp, choose wild-caught shrimp from North America—it’s more likely to be sustainably caught.

Recipe Nutrition:

Per serving: 315 calories; 8 g fat (1 g sat, 5 g mono); 143 mg cholesterol; 40 g carbohydrate; 0 g added sugars; 24 g protein; 7 g fiber; 1096 mg sodium; 687 mg potassium

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (38% daily value), Magnesium (30% dv), Folate & Potassium (20% dv), Vitamin A (19% dv), Zinc (18% dv), Iron (17% dv)

2 Carbohydrate Servings

Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 lean meat, 1 fat logo