Buccatini with Parsley Pesto, Shrimp and Cherry Tomatoes
This is the recipe that was chosen for me to make at Salone del Gusto today. It is fresh and light and flavorful, made from high quality ingredients, (like Garofalo Pasta) organic produce and beautiful scampi. There is a baffling supply of gorgeous food in Torino. For a mountain town, (that is actually a huge city) it is really impressive. I was gifted with all the very freshest versions of the ingredients that I needed for my recipe. It was quite a treat!
I think we are all constantly looking for not only fresh, healthy and delicious meals to make our families, but recipes that let us innovate by using old standard ingredients and making them new. This dish is a perfect example!
This recipe was created at home in Seattle, (another city known for its dedication to fresh, local and organic produce). It grew out of seasonal, (and really local!!) stuff- mostly what was in my backyard!
I picked the last of the cherry tomatoes that were growing in my vegetable garden. Because of how late in the season it is, they were especially sweet.
The flat leaf parsley was growing rampant (even in October) in my herb garden so I turned it into a fresh green pesto. By blanching the parsley it kept it’s incredibly vibrant color.
I just tossed that with my very favorite cut of pasta- buccatini. (If you are unfamiliar with this cut, it is like thick, hollow spaghetti for lack of a better description!) Add some simple garlic, lemon and olive oil sautéed shrimp, and the sweet cherry tomatoes and you have a beautiful pasta dish.
Buccatini with Parsley Pesto, Shrimp and Cherry Tomatoes, serves 8
1 lb good quality buccatini
1 recipe Parsley Pesto (below)
1lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 coves garlic, minced
1 lemons zest
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup finely minced flat leaf parsley
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 large bunch flat leaf parsley
2 cloves garlic
½ cup olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
In a Ziploc bag or tupperwear container combine the shrimp, garlic, lemon zest , flat leaf parsley and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let marinate while you do everything else.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
While waiting for the pasta to boil, prepare an ice bath.
Briefly dunk the parsley into the boiling water and then plunge it into the ice bath.
Cool the parsley all the way and then dry it and set aside.
Add the garlic, olive oil and lemon juice to the blender.
Add the flat leaf parsley to the blender.
Puree everything until very smooth and bright green. Adjust the flavor with salt and pepper.
Add the buccatini to the pot and let cook according to instruction.
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the shrimp with the marinade.
Cook until just pink and then flip to the other side. Cook the shrimp until barely opaque in the center.
Drain the bucattini and toss with the pesto.
Spoon the cherry tomatoes over the pasta and then place the shrimp over the pasta and tomatoes. Garnish with a little finely chopped flat leaf parsley. Serve at room temperature and enjoy!
Interestingly enough, this dish was considered quite unusual for the Italians at the Salone del Gusto!
Of course, I had a large group of Genoans (the region famous for their pesto!) sitting in on my demonstration. They were somewhat baffled at the use of my word “pesto”, but nonetheless said they really enjoyed it (horray!)
The lovely people at Garofalo interviewed foodies in the audience after they ate their plates of pasta and asked them what they thought, (talk about immediate feedback!!)
They were sure to start with the elderly Italian women, as they said that they would be the most difficult to persuade from traditional sauces. Well, thank God, apparently they liked it!!
I couldn’t be more relieved that the response to my untraditional style of cooking was positive and even complimentary. What a wonderful and incredibly educational experience I had here at the Salone del Gusto.
More to come…