Basil Aioli & Shrimp
"Casarecce pasta drenched in a basil, garlic Parmesan Aioli dressing with red onion, sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, artichokes, asparagus and shrimp"
1/2 cup diced, red onion
3/4 cup black olives, halved
1 1/4 cups artichoke hearts, excess water squeezed out, chopped
½ cup julienned, sun-dried tomatoes in oil
3 tablespoons toasted, pine nuts
Fresh, thin, asparagus spears (1 cup after slicing)
2 1/2 -3 dozen cooked, medium sized shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise (Dukes)
2 ounces fresh, basil leaves
½ teaspoon freshly minced, garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
Block Parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper
1 pound of Casarecce pasta
Toasted pine nuts
Fresh lemon & basil
Fresh cracked pepper
Snap off the tough, bottom part of each asparagus spear. Slice the asparagus spears into about 1 1/4 inch segments and measure out 1 cup. Prepare and ice bath with water and ice cubes in a small bowl. Bring a small pot of water to a boil, add the asparagus segments and cook for about 1-2 minutes depending on thickness. Using a slotted spoon, place the asparagus into the ice bath to stop the cooking. Remove the asparagus and pat dry.
Prepare another small ice bath, to blanch the basil. Blanching will prevent the basil from turning dark.
Bring a small pot of water to a boil, press the basil under the water and immediately remove and add to the ice bath. Squeeze out as much water as possible.
Add the mayonnaise, basil, garlic and olive oil to a food processor and pulse until basil is finely chopped and the dressing is smooth. Add the Parmesan and pulse a few times. Season with salt & pepper.
Add 2 1/2 quarts of water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and 2 tablespoons of salt and cook according to instructions on box.
Drain through a colander and rinse the pasta off under the faucet. Drizzle lightly with some olive oil and toss. Set aside, stirring occasionally to prevent from sticking together, until cool.
Add the pasta to a large mixing bowl, toss with the basil aioli. Add the remaining ingredients, toss well and adjust salt & pepper if needed. Pour into a serving bowl.
Using a vegetable peeler, shave off Parmesan from the left over block and crumble some over the top of pasta, followed with a sprinkle of pine nuts and fresh cracked pepper. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and lemon wedges. Squeeze some fresh lemon over the top right before serving. Serves 8-10