Grilled Shrimp With Pesto Pasta

Grilled Shrimp with Pesto Pasta.



For two servings:

10 large shrimp (or however many you like)

4 T. olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

springs of fresh thyme

salt, pepper


1 large plum tomato, peeled and deseeded and cut into strips (optional)


1/2 pound pasta (I used trofie, a classic shape for pesto)

about 1/2 cup of freshly made pesto alla genovese - directions below.

Grilled Shrimp

Buy large uncooked shrimp. Peel off the shells and devein the shrimp. Put the shrimp in a bowl with the olive oil, garlic, some salt, pepper and fresh herbs. I used thyme, but oregano would work too. If you want the shrimp to have a little kick, add some dried red pepper flakes. Let it sit for at least 1/2 hour to marinate.

Get the grill good and hot and rub the grates with a paper towel that's been coated with vegetable oil. This will help the shrimp not to stick to the grates.

Grill the shrimp for a couple of minutes on each side and add to the pasta that's been already mixed with the pesto.


For each portion, I also added strips of one large plum tomato that I had peeled and deseeded. (To peel easily, drop the tomato into a pot of boiling water for a couple of minutes.)


Pesto Recipe - Get the full instructions with photos here


Pesto Alla Genovese

The amounts aren't exact. A lot depends on how firmly you pack the basil into the measuring cup, how large the garlic cloves are, and of course, your taste buds.

4 cups basil, loosely packed
2 large cloves garlic
1/4 cup Italian pine nuts, toasted, or pistachios (salted or unsalted), or toasted almonds or walnuts
extra virgin olive oil - as much as two cups, as needed to obtain a loose pesto.
1/4 cup - 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (or pecorino if desired)

If using a food processor: Tear leaves from stem, wash, dry and place in a food processor, along with the garlic, nuts and a small amount of the olive oil. Start with 1/2 cup and keep adding more until it flows smoothly when you dip a spoon into it, but not so thin that it falls off in a stream. Use your judgment.
Add parmesan cheese if serving immediately. If you're planning to freeze it, don't add the parmesan cheese until after you defrost it and are ready to serve.

If using a mortar and pestle, start with the washed and dried basil leaves, garlic and nuts and add a small amount of coarse salt to help break down the leaves. Pound with the pestle and slowly add a little bit of olive oil. Keep working the mixture with the pestle and add the rest of the oil as needed. The process takes a lot of patience and time.