Linguine Shrimps and Pistachio Pesto 

Linguine con Gamberi e Pesto al Pistacchio 

Linguine cu l’ammaru e Ammoghiu ri Pistacchiu 

 

Linguine with shrimps in a light garlicky tomato sauce it is favored because of the easiness of the preparation, for the little time to cook, for its taste and for its excellent flavor, and for its appearance and smell.  

It is a nutritious dish and it can be served as a complete dinner, piatto unico, by adding a salad, fresh Italian bread and a bottle of fragrant, young Californian Chardonnay wine or a soft, fresh and aromatic Sicilian Corvo Bianco

 

In our recipe, linguine with shrimps and pistachio pesto, uses no tomatoes; an ammoghiu, a mixture of raw ingredients, pistachio, parsley, garlic and olive oil are blended and bound to form a creamy paste, to substitute to tomato sauce.  

The end result is a colorful and different tasty dish with a Mediterranean taste, and with the distinguished signature, aroma and flavor of the Sicilian pistachio nuts. 

 

Serves 4  

Ingredients 

For the Pesto 

·     ½ cup shelled roasted pistachio nuts  

  • 1 clove of garlic, finely diced 
  • ½ cup chopped parsley 
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 scant teaspoon of salt  
  • Black pepper to taste 

 

For the Pasta 

·        1 lb of linguine, tagliarine, or spaghettini or spaghetti 

 

For the Sauce 

·        2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

·        1 small onion diced 

·        6 shredded basil leaves 

·        1 lb shrimps (20-26). Shelled, deveined and washed   

·        8 large shrimps “12 to 15” or “16 to 20” count, shell on, deveined and washed. To devein the large shrimps, cut along the back with the shears; pull out the veins and rinse.

·        1 glass of white wine 

·        Salt and pepper 

 

To Finish 

·        Basil leaves to garnish 

 

Preparation 

The Pesto 

Can be prepared a day ahead and stored covered with plastic wrap or in a jar.  

Using a food processor or a mortar and pestle or finely chopping with a knife, crush and blend the pistachio, garlic, parsley, olive oil, salt, pepper and amalgamate it to a creamy consistency. If a food processor is used, blend at low speed and add 1 ice cube.

 

The Sauce 

In a large sauté pan, big enough to contain the sauce and the linguine, place 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the diced onion; cook at a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until onions are pale golden. Add all the shrimps, with and without the shells, add the shredded basil, pinch of salt and pepper to taste.   

Sauté over medium heat and when the shrimps start to change color into pink, add wine and continue cooking at high heat until alcohol content in wine evaporates and shrimps are thoroughly cooked. Remove from heat and set on the side until pasta is ready. 

 

The Linguine 

In the meantime boil 5 quarts of water with 2 tablespoons of salt, and cook pasta al dente reducing by 1 minute the time recommended in the package’s directions. 

Drain pasta and reserve some of the water. 

 

  Linguini Shrimps & Pistachio Pesto

 

The Assembly 

Return the pot with the shrimps to the fire, over high heat; add 1 ladle of the pasta cooking liquid, and reheat sauce. 

Remove large shrimps from the sauce and set on the side in a warm place.  

Add to the pot with the sauce the pasta and half of the pistachio pesto; toss it over a high flame for 1 or 2 minutes or until the linguine is tender and agreeable to your taste, adding more cooking water as needed to get the right consistency. It is preferable slightly juicy.   

Remove from the fire; divide equally, place and spread in the center of each serving dish a portion of the remaining pesto. Plate the pasta over pesto and sprinkle with the sauce left at the bottom of the pot; garnish each dish with 2 large shrimps, some basil leaves and serve immediately.