Saturday evenings in the summertime are usually spent at home. Knowing we had a 50+ mile ride planned for Sunday, I had the perfect excuse to make a pasta dish, surprise, surprise. But I wanted to keep it light, no heavy cream sauces or meat, and I wanted to keep it simple, not too much fuss or mess. So Gulf shrimp are a given, and with our extremely hot summer temperatures, I enjoy making sauces and pestos that don't require cooking. And Kerry's abundance of fresh herbs in the garden offers me lots of possibilities.
I made the dreaded run to Whole Foods on a Saturday for supplies, me and 5,000 other people, and was happy to see a huge table of heirloom tomatoes at the shocking price of $3.99/lb. So I load up with a those, some kale and lots of other stuff to get us through the week, and drove home to get started.
I picked up the tomatoes for a sauce I wanted to make that sort of reminds of a cross between the Sicilian Pasta Trapanese, that I adore, and an herb pesto. Based on a similar recipe from the Sicilian island of Pantelleria by Mario Batali, this one uses fresh tomatoes as the base with a mixture of 3 different herbs, spices and olive oil, no cooking required except for the pasta and shrimp of course!. It is delightfully refreshing and the addition of mint to the herb mixture gives it a different spin. You'll have some leftover that you can use the next day and serve over fish, toss with steamed veggies or whatever else you come up with! I served this with my sauteed kale recipe and the deliciously fresh Vitiano Rosato from Umbria, but sadly only 1 glass since we had to ride the next day...oh well, there's always tonight!
* 3/4 lb. fresh Gulf Shrimp, shelled and de-veined
* Olive oil, salt, pepper
* 1/2 cup mint leaves
* 1/2 cup basil leaves
* 1/2 cup parsley leaves
* 2 cloves garlic
* 2 tablespoons capers, drained
* 2 medium heirloom tomatoes, roughly chopped
* 1-1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
* 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 1/2 pound fettuccine (when I don't have time to make my own, or buy it from Chef Dan, we use the Bionaturae brand and are especially fond of the tagliatelle)
Bring 4 quarts water to boil and add 2 tablespoons salt.
Quickly saute shrimp in a little olive oil until just barely pink. Season with a touch of salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside, reserving the pan (it should be fairly large) and oil for later.
Cook fettuccine according to package instructions until al dente and drain well.
Heat up your shrimp pan again to medium heat and put the lightly cooked shrimp back in the pan. Add the drained pasta, stirring to coat it with the oil and shrimp, and cook for about 1 minute. Turn off the heat, add the fresh tomato pesto and toss together until well mixed.
Serve immediately, garnished with fresh basil ribbons and a little grated Grana Padano cheese.