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23 July 2006

Zesty Shrimp Pasta Salad (Cooks Illustrated)

Zesty Shrimp Pasta Salad

Serves 4 to 6

The spicy pesto flavors this room-temperature pasta salad. The pesto can be prepared a day in advance and refrigerated until needed.
1/4 cup walnuts , toasted
2 medium cloves garlic , peeled
2 cups packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
3 anchovy fillets , rinsed and patted dry
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon grated lime zest plus 3 tablespoons juice from 2 limes
1/2 jalapeƱo chile , seeds and ribs removed
Table salt
1 pound fusilli or other short, curly pasta
1 pound cooked medium shrimp , peeled
1 pint grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot.

2. Meanwhile, process nuts, garlic, cilantro, basil, anchovies, 7 tablespoons oil, zest, juice, and chile in food processor or blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down bowl as necessary. Transfer to small bowl and season with salt to taste. Cover with plastic wrap.

3. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta to boiling water. Cook until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water, drain pasta, and transfer to large serving bowl. Stir in reserved cooking water and remaining 1 tablespoon oil and cool to room temperature. When cooled, toss with pesto, shrimp, and tomatoes. Serve.