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Pasta Shells with Shrimp, Mushrooms and Spinach

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Pasta, Shrimp, Mushrooms, Spinach, Vegetables
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 to 8 people
Author Yasmin R


  • 1 pound large or medium pasta shells
  • 5 to 6 ounces baby organic spinach rinsed and drained to remove excess water
  • 16 ounces organic baby portobello mushrooms cleaned and quartered
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 2 pounds large or jumbo shrimps cleaned, washed and pat dry with papertowel
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 teaspoons salt plus one tablespoon for salting the pasta water
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons white wine (I use Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay)
  • 20 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup fresh parmesan cheese (1/2 cup grated and 1/2 cup shredded)


  1. Season the shrimp. Use 2 teaspoons of the salt, 1 teaspoon of the black pepper, the paprika and 1/2 of the minced garlic. 

  2. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Use one tablespoon salt in the water.

    Note: I always cook pasta al dente. 

  3. While the pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over high heat in a six quart saute pan.  Add the shrimp to the hot oil and saute for four minutes - stirring once or twice to ensure the shrimp is cooked on both sides. 

    Note: The oil should be hot but not smoking and the shrimps will start turning pink.  Do not overcook the shrimp as it will become tough.

  4. Remove the shrimp to a bowl along with any liquid that remained in the pot. Set aside.

  5. In the same saute pan (do not wash the pan), heat the remaining olive oil.

  6. Add the onions and saute for about a minute or two - do not brown the onions

  7. Add the mushrooms and add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and the remaining garlic. Cook the onions, garlic and mushrooms for five to six minutes

  8. Add the remaining teaspoon salt and white wine.  Stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate any browned bits.

  9. Continue cooking for two to three minutes until the wine is almost evaporated.

  10. Add the cooked shrimp along with its liquid.  Mix to combine with the vegetables and continue cooking for about a minute.

  11. Add the Spinach and cook for about one and a half to two minutes, until it's wilted - incorporating it into the shrimp mixture as it's being wilted.

  12. Add the pasta shells and combine with the shrimp and vegetable mixture.

  13. Turn off the stove.  Add 10 to 12 of the whole basil leaves and add the 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.

  14. Plate, sprinkle with the shredded parmesan and the remaining basil leaves. Serve hot and enjoy.

Recipe Notes

I like to use pasta shells so that all that liquid and bits of the mushrooms and spinach gets lodged in the scoop of the shell.  You can also try this with Bow Tie Pasta.  Feel free to substitute whole wheat pasta.  The wholesome and rich flavors will still make it tasty. You can also roughly chop the basil - I leave it whole so that I can really taste it.