See, it all started when Rich bough two bags of frozen cooked tail-on shrimp for New Year noshing…
We only went through one bag with wicked good cocktail sauce during the festivities, leaving a thawed bag in the fridge calling out for something to be done.
Pesto, it is.
•1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
•1-1/2 cup packed fresh parsley
•2 cloves garlic
•1/4 cup pine nuts*
•2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
•1/2 cup freshly grated Grana cheese – or your preferred hard Italian cheese
•1 tsp Aleppo pepper – or 1/4 to 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (to taste)
•1/2 tsp sea salt
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•12 oz bag shrimp, thawed**
•2 tbsp unsalted butter
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce (optional)
*Not all pine nuts are equal! I’ve found that some pine nutshave a kindofa musty taste, so I look for those with “product of Italy” on the label. They’ll be pricy, but they’ll be worth it. If you cannot find the good pine nuts, feel free to substitute walnuts, cashews, or even pistachios.
**As I mentioned above, I was starting with a bag of thawed cooked shrimp, so I just warmed them in a bit of butter before adding the pesto. If using raw shrimp, cook in a mixture of melted butter and olive oil until pink, then continue.
Add the parsley and basil and pulse again until well chopped.
Note: if you prefer, use all basil and no parsley, or adjust the proportions to suit your taste and your fresh herb supply.
Note: if you will be using the pesto immediately, use all of the olive oil called for. If you are making it ahead of time, use half the amount, continue with the recipe, then pour the remaining olive oil over to cover the pesto once you’ve transferred it to a storage container and stash in the fridge until needed.
Add the grated cheese and the Aleppo pepper and pulse to blend in.
With proper planning, I would’ve tossed our pesto with some freshly cooked linguini before adding the shrimp, but this was an emergency “use it before it goes bad” meal, so I tossed ours with the shrimp and a tablespoon of Sherry Peppers Sauce in the skillet before serving over a baked potato.
Not at all.