This amazingly delicious and healthy Pasta with Burst Cherry Tomatoes and Shrimp dish is a great weeknight dinner. It comes out looking chef-worthy. But, it cooks up quickly thanks to fast-cooking shrimp and pasta. Let’s take a look at the ingredients that make this dish such a winner.
Pasta is eaten all over the world and it is often incorporated into a healthy Mediterranean Diet. So you might ask, what pasta is healthy?
We, echoing health experts everywhere, recommend whole wheat pasta. This kind of pasta is healthier than your traditional white variety because it’s packed with protein, fiber, iron, zinc, magnesium, and other nutrients.
White pasta, on the other hand, has been processed so that the healthier parts have been removed. This means it has less nutritional value. It also has less of the things that will keep you feeling full and satisfied (like fiber and protein). If your whole wheat pasta is tossed in sauces, as in this recipes, you probably won’t even notice the difference in flavor. You will certain notice the difference in how you feel after the meal and how long you stay satisfied.
Another pasta option that we often recommend is chickpea, lentil, or other bean/ legume pasta. These options are chock full of nutrients, fiber, and protein. They are a terrific options. Some have different colors (like black bean pasta, which is very black) and a slightly different texture than traditional white pasta. Keep this in mind if you are trying to fool any unsuspecting diners.
Seafood is enjoyed on a Mediterranean Diet. It is recommended that most people incorporate seafood into their diets at least twice per week (unless there’s an allergy or other aversion). Shrimp is an easy and healthy way to include seafood. It cooks up quickly, making it perfect for weeknights. But it still seems fancy. Shrimp is also high in protein and full of many important vitamins and minerals. The high omega-3 fatty acids found in shrimp have been shown to help protect our brains and hearts as we age.
Shrimp can be expensive, especially if you buy it fresh. In my house, we generally buy whatever variety is on sale or a good deal (small, large, tail on or off). For this recipe, medium-sized shrimp with the tails off work perfectly. Feel free to experiment with other sizes based on what’s in your budget.
Also keep in mind, spending a little more on great quality seafood now can help you save on doctor bills later in life. Another way to trim your grocery bill is to eat vegetarian-style beans and legumes several times per week. Happily, this is great for your health, too. Seafood one day and beans the next can help keep your spending at a moderate level.
Cherry Tomatoes. Generally available year round, tomatoes need to be stored OUT of the fridge to preserve their delicious flavor. If you have space, consider growing tomatoes. Even I, of the terrible green thumb, can generally put a cherry tomato plant in a pot and keep it growing for at least a few months. It’s amazing how delicious freshly grown tomatoes taste!
Basil. If fresh basil is out of season, you can use dried basil instead. Generally, you need about one third as much dried herb to equal the fresh herb. BUT, I would be careful with the substitution and just start a little bit at a time. The flavor can be vastly different based on how old your dried herbs are.
This is such a great question, unless you love leftovers and are fine with extra pasta. According to the Barilla website, 2 ounces of dry pasta is a good estimate for each person. This equates to roughly one cup of pasta per person. (The actual cooked amount depends on the shape of the pasta. Barilla has a handy little chart that you can look at here.) Of course, the actual amount is person dependent. If you have a household of teenage boys, you may need more than what is recommended below!
That’s it! Go get to your cooking! Let us know what you think of this recipe. It’s part of our collection of recipes in our Mediterranean Diet Meal Plans. You can try the meal plan out for a whole week, totally free.
Hi, I’m Ashley! I’m a Mediterranean Diet expert, a family health champion, and a Mom of 3 little people. Any day of the week, you will find me in the kitchen cooking up festive new recipes using Mediterranean Diet principles. I love breakfast for dinner, long days at the beach, the perfect glass of wine, and spontaneous adventures. Originally from Atlanta, I now fondly call Virginia my home.