1 pound linguine, recommended: DeCecco green spinach
2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ pounds large shrimp, cleaned and deveined
2 tablespoons essence creole, recipe follows
1 tablespoon salt, divided
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 gloves garlic, minced
2 medium size eggplants, chopped
½ cup chopped mushroom
½ cup halves grape tomatoes
2 cups heavy cream
¾ cup pesto, recipe follows
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
Cook the pasta (in oiled water) until tender, but with a bit of resistance (al dente), about 12 minutes.
While the pasta cooks, season the shrimp with 1 ½ tablespoons of essence creole. Using a large skillet, set the heat to medium-high. Add the butter and olive oil to the pan. Once the butter has melted, add the shrimp to the pan. Sear the shrimp until pink, about 1 minute, then turn over and cook for another minute. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside. Add the onions and saute until softened and lightly caramelized, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the eggplants, cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and tomatoes, cook for another 3 minutes. Add the heavy cream, pesto, and the remaining ½ tablespoon of Essence. Season with black pepper and salt. Cook the sauce until the cream is reduced by 1/4, about 2 minutes. Add the linguine and shrimp to the pan. Simmer and tossing to incorporate for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and add the parsley, basil and parmesan cheese and toss to blend. Serve hot.
Essence Creole: Yield; ⅔ cup
2 ½ tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
In a small plastic container with lid, put all ingredients, shake well. Store the remaining seasoning in a cool dry place.
1 ½ fresh basil leaves
2 cups fresh mint leaves
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup olive oil, or more
2 gloves garlic, peeled
Salt and black pepper
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
Put the first 6 ingredients in a food processor, blend until finely chopped, or puréed. Transfer the pesto to a medium bowl. Stir in the Parmesan. Refrigerate until ready to use.
NOTE: Make the essence and pesto ahead of time.
P.S. To finish up the meal with a great tasting wine won’t be a bad idea at all. 😉
Prep: 45 minutes | Cook: 35 min | Yield: 4-6 servings | Level: Easy