Trofie Pasta with grilled shrimp, Cauliflower and Pesto

trofie pasta with pesto and shrimp

Trofie is a twisted pasta shape originating in Liguria, I love it because when you use it with pesto, basically any type of pesto, the sauce just clings to the shape and gets into all the grooves. I’ve used it with my parsley walnut pesto, kale and almond pesto and of course traditional basil pesto, and it’s all so good!

trofie pasta with pesto and shrimp ingredients

In the warmer months and with grilling season underway you can create a beautiful pasta dish with just a few ingredients and a pesto of your choice. I added grilled shrimp, grilled cauliflower and some fresh cherry tomatoes to mine.  If you have a source to buy a good quality pesto you can even do that, but I encourage you to make your own.trofie pasta

Cook pasta according to the package directions and reserve a little pasta water to loosen up the pesto a bit. Toss the pasta into a bowl and add some fresh sliced tomatoes, no need to cook them.

trofie pasta with pesto and shrimp

Start adding in your pesto, I start with a quarter of a cup at a time, tossing gently and coating the trofie pasta using the reserved water if needed.

Just to give you an idea, I used a pound of pasta, a pound of shrimp and a little over a half a cup of basil pesto loosened up a bit.Transfer everything to a pretty platter and top it off with the grilled shrimp and grilled cauliflower.trofie pasta with pesto and shrimp

A five ingredient meal that’s fresh, light and delicious!

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Cedar Planked Shrimp with Parsley Pesto Sauce

cedar planked shrimp I read somewhere that said grilling fish on a cedar plank is the difference between a substandard cookout and a bodacious backyard blowout. Oh how true those words are! There’s something about that smoky, aromatic flavor that gets infused into your fish, it’s out of this world good!

cedar planked shrimp with parsley pesto sauce If you’ve never experienced the taste of anything cooked on a plank I encourage you to give it a try.  In the past I’ve done salmon several times, scallops, cheese,  and one of my most popular recipes, planked portobellos. Today I’m here to tell you to please make this shrimp!

The shrimp gets tossed in a light pesto made of parsley, garlic, lemon zest, olive oil and a pinch of red pepper flakes and then as it’s cooking you brush even more of the pesto on, it’s so good!

cedar planked shrimp Remember to always use un-treated food safe planks. I recently got a good buy at my Costco, 8 boards, different lengths for 6.99. The hardest thing to do is to remember to soak your boards, I like to soak mine for around 2 hours. I usually fill a rimmed baking sheet with water, then submerge the board, and anchor it down with something heavy.

cedar planked shrimp Grill some lemon halves on the side they’ll plump up and get real juicy, you can squeeze the juice on your fish or use it for dressing in a salad to go along with your shrimp, it’s wonderful!

cedar planked shrimp I cooked my planked shrimp on a gas grill set at medium heat until they turned nice and pink, maybe 15 minutes or so but check accordingly to your own grill. Try not lifting the lid too often because the wet cedar creates an amazing smoke which infuses your shrimp. Have a spray water bottle handy in case you get flare-ups.

cedar planked shrimp with parsley pesto sauce Seriously, you have to try this!

Cedar Planked Shrimp with Parsley Pesto Sauce
 
Ingredients
  • 1 food safe, cedar planked board, soaked for 2 hours
  • 1 lb. of 21-25 shrimp, cleaned and deveined and patted dry
  • 1 large bunch of Italian parsley
  • the zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely grated on a microplane
  • a pinch or more of red pepper flakes
  • olive oil to loosen the pesto
Instructions
  1. Mix pesto up by using all the ingredients, set a little bit aside for brushing on the grill.
  2. Toss shrimp in mixture, coating it all over.
  3. Take your board out of the water and pat dry, rubbing the top only with olive oil.
  4. Place your cedar board on a clean and dry baking sheet for ease in carrying it out to the grill.
  5. Arrange shrimp on top, I placed 2 together to form a circle.
  6. Cook on medium high heat until shrimp is cooked and nice and pink brushing with remaining pesto half way through.
  7. Take the 2 lemons that were used for the zest, cut them in half, drizzle with olive oil and place cut side down on the grill, remove when nice grill marks are formed.
  8. Serve your shrimp right from the plank, enjoy!

 

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Grilled Vegetable Skewers

grilled vegetable skewersGrilling vegetables is nothing new but when you put them together on a skewer they transform into an eye-catching little side dish! Who could resist all those colors and combinations? They look so pretty on a platter and a little goes a long way!

I cut up all my veggies first and place them into a big bowl tossing them in a generous amount of olive oil, salt, pepper and whatever herbs I feel like using, either dried or fresh.

The more color the better, red onion, cherry tomatoes, corn, zucchini, yellow squash, multi colored peppers of red, yellow, orange and green. I like to use a Japanese eggplant when making these because it slices into nice rounds for skewering. I also added crimini mushrooms and small red potatoes into the mix. Try to keep all the slices the same size around 1 1/2 inches so everything cooks at the same pace.

grilling vegetables Assemble them in any order that appeals to you, you can get very creative with all the different colors. I parboil the potatoes just a little ahead of time so they won’t take so long to cook on the grill. Cook on a medium turning often until slightly charred and cooked through.vegetable skewersVeggie skewers are the perfect option for entertaining because you can assemble all your skewers way ahead of time, even the night before. Refrigerate until you’re ready to throw them on the grill.

grilled artichokes Of course at my house we always make extra room on the grill for my stuffed grilled artichokes, I make them pretty regularly in the summer, so easy, so good!grilled shrimp I served my veggie skewers with grilled shrimp that I marinated in olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, a pinch of red pepper flakes and fresh parsley. I love those flat wooden skewers, the shrimp doesn’t move and flip around when turning, everything stays in place.shrimp skewers A touch of grilled lemon squeezed over the top was the perfect finish to the shrimp. The finishing touch on my veggie skewers will always be this, what can I say, they just go hand in hand!

Fire up your grill and make this colorful and healthy meal for your next cookout!

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Grilled Shrimp and Lobster Gremolata

Gremolata is not just for garnish anymore! Here it serves as the main ingredient to intensely flavor  baby lobster and shrimp, then all is cooked rustic style in foil right on top of your grill. Perfect for summer entertaining or a special dinner for two.
Gremolata is so easy to make, I used my mini food processor or you can chop it all by hand. Start with four large garlic cloves and a full bunch of Italian parsley, process or mince them together. Place in a bowl, then add the zest of two lemons, the juice of one and enough olive oil to make the consistency loose. Rub the mixture all over your seafood and let it sit for about twenty minutes or so.

Have your grill heated on medium and make a “pan” out of heavy duty aluminum foil. Add your marinated seafood, a little red pepper flakes if you so desire, a handful of grape tomatoes, lemon slices and an extra drizzle of olive oil.

I had two baby lobsters that I precooked in boiling water for five minutes ( I wanted to make sure the lobsters would be cooked through)  and a pound of shrimp, you could use shrimp alone or even some scallops. May I suggest reserving some of the gremolata to toss into warm angel hair pasta, the perfect accompaniment for those flavorful juices!

Cook open faced, with no foil on top, just the lid of your grill down until juices are sizzling and the fish is cooked through.
The smell in my backyard was so enticing that my neighbors were all commenting!
You have to try this!
See what I mean about the pasta and the juices?

Happy Grilling!

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