I’m just back from a short visit to Italy. We visited the Expo (world’s fair) in Milano. I’ll always remember the amazing architecture. But mostly, I’ll remember how hot it was. We then visited the Cinque Terre in Liguria. I’m sure to remember the beautiful tiny villages. But mostly I’ll remember how hot it was. I will also remember a delicious meal in Rome. But mostly, I’ll remember sweating through it.
In Liguria, I was once again reminded of how regional pasta can be, with more local pastas than I can count. One of them corxetti (or corzetti), named for the stamp that is used to make them. Served with pesto, pine nuts, seafood, or other Ligurian specialties, they are ubiquitous. I didn’t make this batch. I bought them in Portovenere. I remember the charming little pasta shop. But mostly, I remember how hot it was.
Check out our wine pairings to complement this recipe.
Gently wash the basil in cold water and pat dry with a towel. Crush one clove of garlic in the mortar and add some basil (30 leaves per clove), and then a sprinkle of salt. In a gentle circular motion, use the mortar to tear the basil until it turns into a bright green oily liquid. Repeat this process until all the basil and two cloves of garlic are added. Add the pine nuts and gently crush them into the mixture. Next, add the cheese. When the cheese is mixed in, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and mix together. At this point, the pesto is ready to use.
Clean and wash the shrimp. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Mince the one remaining clove of garlic. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the garlic in olive oil until lightly golden. Add the shrimp and cook for a few minutes until pink. Remove from heat.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, retaining some of the cooking water. Drain the pasta and place it in a serving bowl. Slowly mix in the pesto sauce and then the shrimp, adding a few tablespoons of the cooking water if it looks dry.
Serve immediately with a sprinkle of Parmigiano.