Pasta and shrimp, in a creamy pesto sauce, combined with easy oven-roasted tomatoes and red pepper.
For the roasted vegetables:
1/2pintgrape or cherry tomatoesabout 20 tomatoes
For the pasta:
6ozlinguinior other pasta (200g)
6ozshrimppeeled and deveined, thawed, raw or cooked
Pinchred pepper flakes
3Tbspwhite wineor water
2/3cupHalf and Half cream*see Notes
1/3 - 1/2cupbasil pestostore-bought or homemade
1/4cupfresh basil leaveschopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan
Additional fresh basilfor garnish
For roasted vegetables: Preheat oven to 425F. Scatter tomatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven until tomatoes have shrivelled, about 15-20 minutes (watch closely, as timing will vary depending on size of the tomatoes. Remove from oven and set aside. Switch oven to broil (High setting, if you have). Cut the sides off of the bell pepper and remove any seeds or white membrane. Place on a baking sheet, skin side up. Place baking sheet on a rack about 6-inches from the heat source and broil until the skin is very dark, about 8 minutes (again, watch closely.) Remove from oven and let stand until cool enough to handle, then use the edge of a sharp knife to remove the skin. Slice the roasted peppers and set aside.
For the pasta: Start a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute, or until the garlic has softened, but not browned. If using raw shrimp, add to the pan and cook, stirring, until they turn pink, about 3 minutes. (If using cooked shrimp, save the shrimp for later in the process, to avoid over-cooking) De-glaze the pan with the wine or water and let it cook down a minute. Add the cream to the pan. Add the pesto to the pan and stir to combine well. Reduce the heat and let the sauce simmer a few minutes. If pasta is not ready, turn the heat off under the pan and let the sauce sit until just before the pasta is ready,
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the boiling salted water until al dente.
When pasta is cooked, turn the heat on medium-low under the skillet, if it was off. Add the roasted tomatoes, roasted peppers, cooked and thawed shrimp (if using cooked shrimp) and the fresh basil to the pan. Add the hot pasta to the pan. Carefully stir together (tongs work well here) until well combined and just warmed through.
Serve warm with some Parmesan and additional fresh basil, if desired.
Half and Half Cream is 10% b.f. cream. If it is unavailable, you can combine equal parts of whole milk and heavy, whipping cream to duplicate it. All heavy cream can be used here, but it is quite rich. Milk is not recommended as it is too thin.Short on time or energy? Instead of oven-roasting the tomatoes and red peppers, simply toss the tomatoes and red pepper (cut in slices) into a hot skillet with a splash of olive oil and stir them around until they blister. Remove to a plate, then continue with the recipe!Be sure to read the Ingredient Notes and Variation options above the recipe card for more tips on making this recipe.