We just returned from a lovely and relaxing beach vacation in Maine, where we gorged ourselves on boiled lobster and steamers dipped in drawn butter, clams and scallops fried to golden perfection, and lots of ice cream. Returning home, we felt a little bit doughy around the middle and rejoiced in seeing our garden blooming with some much-needed vegetables - zucchini, squash, eggplant, cucumbers, peppers, and best of all, tomatoes of all shapes, colors, and sizes.
Last night we created this 20-minute meal with our garden-grown basil and several of those tomatoes, specifically, the grape and cherry varieties. While Chris made a nut-free pesto, I boiled some angel hair pasta and sauteed the shrimp with a few tomatoes and some parmesan. We added the pesto and tossed everything together for a dish that was light and summery and full of fresh flavor. The pesto was herbacious and garlicky, while the tomatoes burst in our mouths like sweet, juicy candy.
For the Pesto:
2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Rinse and dry the basil leaves then put them in a food processor. Pulse several times then add the garlic. Pulse several times until basil and garlic are well chopped and mixed. While the food processor is still running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Scrape the sides down and add the parmesan, salt and pepper. Pulse a few more times to mix. This recipe makes about a cup's worth of pesto. Extra freezes well.
For the Pasta:
1/2 lb. angel hair pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup grape and cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pesto
Boil water and prepare the pasta according to package directions. In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Saute the shrimp in the oil until they begin to turn pink. Add the remaining ingredients to the skillet and continue to cook 1-2 minutes. Drain the pasta and add to the skillet. Toss everything together and serve hot.