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Red and Green Pesto with Pasta and Lemon Shrimp

November 2010
Red and Green Pesto with Pasta and Lemon Shrimp

by 6 people

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Makes: 4 servings

  • 3 red chile peppers, preferably fresno
  • 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 2 cups chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • A couple of handfuls parmigiano-reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup pistachio nuts, toasted
  • About 1/3 cup EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil), plus more for drizzling
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound spaghetti or linguine pasta
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
  • Splash white wine or white vermouth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. In a small skillet, char the chiles and garlic cloves over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Scrape off the charred skins and seed the chiles. Pop the garlic cloves from their skins. Using a food processor, pulse the chiles, garlic, parsley, cheese and pistachios with about 1/3 cup EVOO and half of the lemon juice; season with salt and pepper to taste. Place in a pasta bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Add a small ladleful of the pasta cooking water to the pesto, then drain the pasta and toss with the pesto for 2 minutes to coat.
  3. While the pasta is working, in a large nonstick skillet, heat a drizzle of EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper and cook until almost fully pink, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining lemon juice and the wine (or vermouth). Swirl in the butter to melt. Serve the pasta in shallow bowls and top with the shrimp.