Shrimp, Spinach and Goat Cheese Penne
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4.6 from 5 votes

Shrimp, Spinach and Goat Cheese Penne

This Shrimp, Spinach and Goat Cheese Penne is not only an easy and delicious option for a weeknight dinner but also makes an excellent main for a dinner party.
Course Main Course
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 to 6
Author Sweet and Savoury Pursuits


  • Shrimp:
  • 1 lb. raw shrimp peeled and deveined, 21 to 25 per pound
  • 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • Pasta:
  • 1 lb. penne pasta or pasta of choice
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 2 cups chopped leeks white and light green parts only
  • 1 clove garlic, large minced
  • 4 cups packed baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine such as Pinot Grigio
  • 3/4 cup goat cheese crumbled (you can add more if you like the pasta extra creamy)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg optional
  • crushed chili flakes to your liking (optional)
  • Extra goat cheese if desired


  • Toss the shrimp with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, the grated lemon zest and 1/4 tsp. each of the salt and pepper. Marinate for 20 minutes.
  • In a large dry skillet toast the pine nuts until fragrant and golden coloured. Remove from skillet.
  • Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; when it's at a roiling boil, add the pasta and cook according to package directions.
  • In skillet, over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon each of the butter and olive oil. Add leeks and cook for a couple of minutes, add garlic and keep cooking until leeks soften and just start to colour, about 5-6 minutes, season with 1/2 tsp. of salt and pepper and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg (if using). Transfer to bowl and reserve.
  • In the same skillet over medium heat, add the shrimp and cook until just opaque, about 1 minute on each side. Transfer shrimp to bowl.
  • Pour the white wine into the skillet, scraping any browned bits of food from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the spinach and cook until just wilted, about 1-2 minutes.
  • When pasta is cooked, drain it reserving 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid.
  • Add the drained pasta, leeks and the reserved shrimp to the skillet; stir to combine. Add the goat cheese and enough of the reserved cooking liquid to make a sauce that lightly coats the pasta. Let simmer over low heat for 2 minutes to finish the shrimp and let the flavours meld. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
  • Add the pine nuts, additional goat cheese if desired and serve with crushed chili flakes on the side.