I wasn’t sure at first exactly what to do with all the farmer’s market goodies we picked up Saturday morning, but thanks to a tip from one of the stands, my first stab at making pesto from scratch seemed like a good idea.
When I saw this recipe by Sunny Anderson for Shrimp with Roasted Garlic Pesto Pasta, I got the idea to use the local shrimp we had picked up along with some fresh pasta from a local pasta joint – Pasta & Provisions.
I wasn’t in the mood to follow a recipe, so I just made something up with a pesto recipe primarily eye-balled but loosely based on the Classic Pesto recipe by Cooking Light.
Prepping the zucchini
I started by rinsing and drying some fresh basil.
I used some pine nuts I had stowed away in the freezer, along with a couple cloves of garlic (extra garlic b/c I like it like that)
I added some grated cheese mixture from Pasta & Provisions, along with the fresh basil. I ended up adding a handful more of basil leaves when the mixture didn’t turn quite as green as I wanted.
AAAAAANNNNDDDD….we have PESTO!
The foccacia loaf we got is delicious but HUGE, so I halved it and put the other half in the freezer.
The one we’d be eating, I drizzled it with olive oil, sprinkled a wee bit of salt over the top and stuck it in the oven at 300 degrees F for 5 minutes (while the rest of the food cooked) to heat through and crisp up a little.
The main dish started with some zucchini chopped small and sauteed in olive oil.
After a couple minutes, I added the local shrimp (which hubby so kindly prepped for me).
With 2 minutes left of cooking time, I dropped the fresh pasta into some boiling water to cook.
As I cooked the shrimp, I was getting some real brown bits working in the pan. So, I did what any pasta-cooking-chef would do and used some of the pasta water to deglaze the pan. I just added a half ladle or so to the pan and scraped up the brown bits.
When the pasta was done, I added it straight to the pan a la Giada.
Then, I added my homemade, freshmade pesto.
Then I got my stir on and mixed everything together (after turning off the heat) with a little help from some leftover pasta water. The mixture came together quite nice! I was really pleased with my little experiment.
Perfect with some white wine and “fresh-baked” foccacia bread. Yum!
Pesto Shrimp Fettuccine with Zucchini
NOTE: Different pasta makers may have different cooking times – use time for the pasta you purchase – mine just happened to cook in 2 minutes.
- 1/2-3/4 peeled, de-veined shrimp
- 1/2 lb fresh fettuccine pasta (we used spinach pasta cut like fettuccine)
- 1/2-3/4 cup chopped zucchini
- 2 cups basil
- 2 tbsp freshly grated cheese (i.e. parmesan)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/8-1/4 cup olive oil, plus 1 tbsp
- salt and pepper
- Start medium pot of water boiling for the pasta.
- Add pine nuts and garlic to a food processor. Process till ground almost fine. Add basil, cheese, and some olive oil. Process till everything is finely minced. Add extra olive oil as needed.
- Meanwhile, heat pan over medium heat with 1 tbsp olive oil. Add zucchini to heated pan and saute for 2 minutes. Add shrimp to pan. Season with salt and pepper. Saute till shrimp are cooked through, about 4 minutes.
- Meanwhile, when shrimp have about 2 minutes left to cook (I put a timer on when I start the shrimp so I know when there are 2 minutes left – btw I used 2 minutes b/c that was the cooking time for my pasta), add salt and then the fettuccine pasta to the boiling water and stir. Use pasta water to de-glaze the pan, as needed.
- When pasta cooked through, add pasta directly to the pan of shrimp and zucchini using pronged spoon (some pasta water added to the shrimp mixture is ok).
- Add pesto to the pan.
- Stir ingredients in pan till the pesto is evenly distributed. Add a bit of pasta water here and there to help the pesto spread (I added about 1/4-1/2 cup).
- Serve pasta with foccacia and offer extra grated cheese to top, as desired. Enjoy!