Green pea pesto made with basil, lemon and Parmesan goes wonderfully with orzo, a variety of pasta that resembles grains of rice. Juicy shrimp completes this satisfying weeknight meal.

Yield: Serves 4.



  • ​3 cups water
  • 1 tsp grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups orzo
  • 1 lb (0.5 kg) frozen peeled raw shrimp, thawed and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Pea shoots, optional*


  1. Bring water, lemon peel and 1/2 tsp salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Add orzo and return to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  3. Add shrimp and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are pink and opaque, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
  4. To prepare pea pesto, place peas, basil, Parmesan cheese, oil, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp salt and garlic in a food processor; process, using an on/off motion, until almost smooth.
  5. Uncover saucepan and add pea pesto; stir to combine.
  6. Serve topped with pea shoots.
Nutritional analysis per serving:

549 calories, 14 g fat, 41.7 g protein, 67 g carbohydrate, 6 g fibre, 918 mg sodium

*Ingredient not included in nutritional analysis.

Tip: Orzo is a tiny rice-shaped pasta. It can be found in Italian grocery stores and most large grocery stores in the aisle where pasta is sold. 

Pea shoots are a pea plant’s thin leaved offshoots. They have a mild pea flavour. Look for them in the refrigerator case in the produce section of grocery stores.