Sunday, July 21, 2013

Homemade Pesto with Shrimp and Pasta

Having a food processor has changed the way I cook. I can now make recipes that I couldn't before. My regular blender just didn't cut it (literally) and doesn't have the same chopping/pureeing power as a food processor. 

This week I made pesto for the first time. It was both easy and delicious. There are so many ways to use pesto - mix it with pasta, spread it on sandwiches or panini's, use it as a dip for bread, put it in salads, or make it with chicken. The possibilities are endless. 

Traditionally it's made with pine nuts, but I used slivered almonds instead (which were a fraction of the price). It gave it a nice texture and I hardly noticed the difference. 

2 cups fresh basil leaves
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 - 2/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil (depending how thick you want it)
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese 
1/4 cup slivered almonds
salt to taste

Add all ingredients to food processor and pulse until desired thickness. Add more olive oil as needed. Use immediately or store in refrigerator. May need to add olive oil after refrigeration. 

That's all there is to it! I made the beautiful pasta dish pictured above with:
half of the pesto
spinach leaves
1 small tomato (diced, skin removed)
cooked shrimp
Girelle pasta (or other textured cut that can hold sauce)
a sprinkling of feta cheese
chopped fresh parsley

A delicious fresh summer meal!

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