I love a dish that brings together the flavors of spring in a rainbow of colors on the plate. It really is true that eating your colors is not only more fun but also more flavorful.
In the spring, when the supermarkets start selling these perky little pots of bright basil, I start craving pesto. It’s creamy and assertive at the same time and every bite is like a little party in my mouth. I’m a terrible artist when it comes to pen and paper, so I like to make up for it when I cook, pairing ingredients that will set each other off colorfully. I top my pesto pasta (don’t you just love saying that?) with some pan seared shrimp. I feel like Monet when I dot the gentle green bed of pasta with some gaudy pink shrimp. This week, I added a few summer tomatoes for another colorful and fresh element.
If you have a mini food processor, making a batch of pesto is a breeze. Just fill the bowl with some fresh basil leaves, add a little parmesan, pine nuts, and olive oil, pulse a few times, and voila.
Shrimp Pesto Pasta with Summer Tomatoes
1 1/2 cups of fresh basil leaves
1/4 cups of olive oil
1/3 cups of grated parmesan
3 tablespoons of pine nuts
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 package of fresh linguine
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 garlic clove, minced (yes, this is a second garlic clove)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Set a large pot of water to boil.
- Fill the bowl of a mini food processor with basil leaves. Don’t include the stems. Add the olive oil, minced garlic (just one clove here), pine nuts, parmesan, salt and pepper. Pulse 5 to 10 times, until you have a pesto paste of a good consistency. Taste and add more parmesan or pine nuts if necessary.
- Cook the linguine.
- IHeat a saute pan on high. Pour the tablespoon of olive oil and add the remaining minced garlic. Saute for two minutes until softened but not browned. Add the shrimp and tomatoes and saute until bright pink.
- Drain linguine. Toss with pesto. Top with tomato shrimp. Serve immediately with additional parmesan.