New Orleans-Style Shrimp Pasta w/ Creamy Basil-Mint Pesto Sauce


Prep: 45 minutes | Cook: 35 min | Yield: 4-6 servings


Ingredients 

  • 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

Directions

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 

~Essence Creole/Seasoning~
~Essence Creole/Seasoning~
  • 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.

Basil-Mint Pesto: 

~Basil-Mint Pesto~
~Basil-Mint Pesto~
  • 1 ½ fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cups fresh mint leaves
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • ½ 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. 😉

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