Recipe provided by Chef Crusco Catering in Austin, Texas
2 large bunches – fresh basil (plus 6 leaves for garnish)
2 tbsps. Pine nuts (or almonds) – toasted
1 Garlic clove – peeled
1/2 cup EVOO
1/4 cup Pecorino Romano – grated
10-12 oz. Fettuccine, Bucatini, or Spaghetti – your choice
Kosher Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper
- 12 U15 Shrimp – peeled and deveined
10 Mixed Cherry Tomatoes – cut in half lengthwise
2 oz. Ricotta Salata – grated
- Combine the basil, pine nuts, garlic, and olive oil in a blender and blend to a puree. Add the cheese, salt and pepper, and blend again. Set aside to use for pasta. (Can also be used as a vinaigrette or sauce for grilled dishes).
- Place 5 leaves together like a deck of cards. Roll up tightly like a cigarette. Cut thin 1/8 inch ribbon slices known as a chiffonade cut. Set aside for garnish.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to the bite. Drain pasta and transfer to a large bowl (reserving 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water).
- Season shrimp with salt/pepper. Add 1 tbsp. evoo to large saute pan on med-high heat and cook no more than 1-2 minutes per side or until golden in color. Set aside.
- Add the pesto to the pasta and toss. If dry, add some pasta water to loosen up (1 tbsp. at a time). Taste for salt and pepper, and add a drizzle of oil, if you like.
- To serve, add pasta to the plate. Dress with Cherry Tomatoes, Basil chiffonade and Ricotta Salata. Enjoy!