Roast the cashew nuts: in a dry skillet, add cashews and cook on medium heat for 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Turn off the heat. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Blanch the spinach: bring a pot of water to a boil. Add spinach and blanch for 1 minute. Remove spinach from the pot. Rinse under running water until no longer hot. Drain and squeeze well to extract all the water out. Set aside.
Make pesto sauce: in the bowl of a food processor, combine spinach, basil, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1/8 tsp salt, 1 tsp garlic, 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese, and cashew nuts. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
Cook the pasta: bring a pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook according to packet instructions (ours took 8 minutes.) Drain and set aside.
Season and sear the shrimp: in a skillet, heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil and unsalted butter over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, garlic powder, black pepper, paprika, thyme, 1/8 tsp salt, and onion. Sear the shrimp for 2 minutes per side. Once the shrimp turn pink around the edges, flip, add 1 tsp minced garlic, and cook for 1 more minute. Turn off the heat and transfer to a plate once cooked through.
Mix the salad: in a large mixing bowl, combine the shrimp, pasta, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, canned olives, and pesto sauce. Mix well to coat the sauce evenly.
Serve: transfer the salad to a serving platter. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese on top and serve.