My 9 year old son is a good boy, but he sure does leave a trail of destruction wherever he goes. Yesterday, for instance, he parked his bike right next to my herb garden. Of course he was in a hurry and the bike immediately fell over onto my gorgeous basil plant, breaking all the stems.
All the basil had to be harvested so I made a big batch of Curtis' homemade pesto. Since this pesto is the last of my fresh basil I was rather picky about how I was going to use it. Then I remembered Curtis' recipe for this Fettuccine with Garlic Shrimp and Homemade Pesto and I smiled from ear to ear. This was one of the first recipes that called to me when I opened my copy of Curtis' Relaxed Cooking (except I must confess that making homemade pesto isn't so relaxed).
Picture perfect on the plate this pasta dish is full of color, flavor, texture, and deliciousness. The pesto is bright and fresh, the shrimp are succulent and garlicky, and the pasta is the ultimate in comforting.
It's the perfect bowl of pasta to soothe your basil blues and your back-to-school blues.
Fettuccine with Garlic Shrimp and Homemade Pesto
Adapted from Relaxed Cooking
by Curtis Stone
1-1/2 cups (lightly packed) fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
12 cherry tomatoes on the vine
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
9 oz. fettuccine
2 garlic cloves, minced
20 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Parmesan shavings, for garnish
To Make The Pesto: Grind the basil, pine nuts, and grated Parmesan cheese with a mortar and pestle until a smooth paste forms. (If you don't have a mortar and pestle, use a food processor instead.) Slowly add the olive oil, grinding until a smooth sauce forms. Season the pesto with salt and pepper to taste. Then cover and set aside.
To Make The Tomatoes: Preheat the oven to 450F. Place the vine of tomatoes in an ovenproof skillet. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil over the tomatoes, and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes in the oven for 8 minutes, or until heated through.
To Make The Pasta: Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the fettuccine and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking, for about 8 minutes, or until al dente.
To Make The Shrimp: While the fettuccine cooks, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and shrimp and saute for about 3 minutes, or until the shrimp are just cooked through and the garlic is tender. Stir in the pesto into the shrimp mixture.
Drain the fettuccine, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Toss the fettuccine in a large bowl with the shrimp pesto mixture, adding enough of the reserved cooking liquid to moisten the sauce so that it coats the pasta evenly.