The combination of shrimp and pesto may sound strange, but you can find pasta with this pairing of ingredients on the menu of many restaurants in Italy or on Italian blogs . And the combination does work. In fact, if you use homemade pesto it is quite delicious. Zucchini is a nice addition to turn this into a yummy piatto unico. That is Italian for saying a full meal consisting of just the single dish. Click here to find out more about how an Italian meal is constructed. And it can be made in half an hour, including making your own pesto from scratch (if you use a blender for that part, even though making it by hand using mortar and pestle is noticeably better).
For 2 servings as piatto unico
225 grams (.5 lb) peeled deveined raw shrimp
150 grams (.33 lb) linguine
125 ml (1/2 cup) homemade pesto
1 zucchini (courgette)
80 ml (1/3 cup) dry white wine
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While you wait for the water to boil, heat 3 Tbsp olive oil in a frying pan over high heat, and add the shrimp. Cook for 1 minute over high heat, then turn and cook for a minute on the other side as well.
Lift the shrimp from the pan with a strainer, season with salt, and set aside.
When the water boils, add salt and the linguine, and set your timer for the time indicated on the package for al dente.
Finish the sauce while the pasta is cooking. Cut the zucchini into 5 cm (2 inch) lengths, and cut each piece into 8 wedges. Put the pan with shrimp-infused oil back on the heat and add the zucchini. Season with salt.
Cook the zucchini over high heat until they are golden brown on all sides.
Drain the zucchini in a colander to get rid of any excess oil.
Return the zucchini to the pan over medium high heat and add the shrimp.
Add 80 ml (1/3 cup) of dry white wine.
Allow the alcohol to evaporate. If you timed everything perfectly, the pasta should now be al dente.
Drain the linguine and add to the shrimp and zucchini.
Toss to mix.
Add 125 ml (1/2 cup) of homemade pesto.
Stir to mix. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve at once on preheated plates.
This is best paired with a dry white. Pairing pesto and white wine is a bit of hit and miss, so you’ll have to use some trial and error to find a wine that works. My favorite one with pesto is Cuvée Centenaire from Lafage in Rousillon (France).
This hazelnut meringue cake is delicious and quite easy to make.