Rigatoni with pesto, zucchini, and shrimp

Break the rules! Mixing cheese with seafood has never tasted so good. That’s right, Italy; we are coloring outside the lines and pairing shrimp with a Parmigiano cheese and fresh basil in a pine nut-pistachio-walnut pesto. The seafood and the pesto are both light, bright flavors that come together to form one amazing summertime pasta.

Ingredients for Pesto

  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup pistachios
  • 4 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 6 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Directions for Pesto

  • Add the walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios into your food processor and blend until finely chopped.
  • Add the basil leaves and salt, then process while drizzling in the extra virgin olive oil until a smooth puree forms (about a minute of blending).

Ingredients for the dish:

  • 1 white onion diced in ¼ inch pieces
  • 2 medium 8 inch zucchini sliced ¼ thick round pieces
  • 8 ounces fresh shrimp size “41/50 Medium” cleaned and deveined
  • ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 - 16 oz box of De Cecco Rigatoni #24 pasta
  • 1 cup of pesto
  • ½ cup dry Chardonnay wine

Directions to assemble the dish:

  • Place a large pasta pot full of water on the stove on high heat and bring to a boil. Cook the rigatoni until al dente, strain, drizzle with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and hold in a bowl until the rest of the dish is ready to serve.
  • In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil until it is about to start smoking and then add the onion and zucchini and reduce the heat to medium.
  • Cook the onion for about 2 minutes until it is translucent.
  • Add the shrimp and Chardonnay to the sauté pan and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Add the pesto and al dente Rigatoni pasta to the sauté pan and cook for 2 more minutes on high heat.
  • Serve family style on a large platter or invite your guests to fill his or her plate in the kitchen.  This dish is best enjoyed when paired with great friends and family!