Shrimp and Pork Meatballs Over Creamy Sea Asparagus Pesto Pasta

Here is another delicious recipe from our blogger recipe challenge asking food bloggers to create inventive and out of the box recipes using Foraged & Found Sea Asparagus Pesto. This pesto is absolutely delicious and packed with classic pesto flavors and a hint of lemon. Superfood sea asparagus (salicornia) is hand-foraged from wild Alaskan beaches and blended with herbs and lemon to create a bright, nutritious pesto that’s perfect with pasta, fish, or veggies.

sea asparagus pesto jars

Pamela Gelsomini from dishofftheblock.com thought up a wonderful twist on the classic spaghetti and meatballs. She loves the combination of shrimp and ground pork that is classic in wontons, and thought doing a spin on those flavors, adding the pesto to make meatballs would be delicious… then, just to push it up a notch, she stuffed them with a chunk of gruyere cheese, which is a gooey, delicious surprise when you cut into them. Served over spaghetti with a decadent veggie and sea asparagus pesto cream sauce, this is a dish your whole family will love.

sea asparagus pesto pasta meatballs



  • 1-pound ground pork
  • 1-pound raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped into ½” – 1” pieces
  • ½ cup Foraged & Found Sea Asparagus Pesto
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ¼ cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 15, ½” – ¾” cubes gruyere cheese
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into ½” thick half moons
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup Foraged & Found Sea Asparagus Pesto
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1-pound spaghetti, cooked al dente to package directions
  • Basil leaves for garnish

meatball sea asparagus pesto pasta


To make your meatballs, combine the pork, chopped shrimp, pesto, garlic, breadcrumbs, parmesan, parsley, egg, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl.  Massage everything together with your hands until well combined. Form the mixture into balls about the size of a tangerine and then press one cube of the gruyere cheese into the center and form the mixture securely around the cheese.  Place the meatballs on a plate and put them in the freezer for 30 minutes. This will help them to keep a nice round shape when you cook them.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium high heat.   Place the cold meatballs in the hot oil and sear until golden on all sides.  Continue cooking, turning the meatballs, until they are just cooked through and the cheese in the center is melted.  Place the cooked meatballs in a 9”x 13” baking dish and cover with foil.  Place them in the oven to keep warm while you prepare the pasta and sauce.

Add the onion and garlic to the pan drippings from the meatballs and cook until they are soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add the red pepper, zucchini, mushrooms, salt, and pepper to the pan.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the veggies are soft and begin to lightly brown, about 5-6 minutes.

Add the pesto and heavy cream to the pan and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down so that the sauce stays at a low boil and gradually stir in the parmesan cheese. Let the sauce bubble away for about 5 minutes, letting it thicken and reduce.

Add the pasta and meatballs to the sauce and toss to coat. Garnish with basil and serve with more parmesan on the side for sprinkling.

Visit dishofftheblock.com to view the original recipe.

Sea Asparagus (Salicornia) is an amazing superfood that's full of flavor and nutrients. Learn More about this cool little sea vegetable.