When it comes to Italian Coking, Lidia Bastianich is among the top chefs in the country.
Her eight cookbook, called "Lidia's Favorite Recipes" is out. It has 100 'foolproof' Italian dishes including sauces and entrees.
Lidia's Penne with Pesto Trapanese and Shrimp
Serves 4 to 6 servings
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
¾ pound cherry tomatoes, very ripe and sweet
12 leaves fresh basil
¨÷ cup whole almonds, lightly toasted
1 garlic clove, crushed and peeled
¼ teaspoon peperoncino
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for cooking the pasta
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound Lidia's Penne pasta (or other)
½ cup Grana Padano freshly grated (optional)
Rinse the cherry tomatoes and pat them dry. Rinse the basil leaves and pat dry.
Drop the tomatoes into the blender jar or food processor bowl followed by the garlic clove, the almonds, basil leaves, peperoncino and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Blend for a minute or more to a fine purée; scrape down the bowl and blend again if any large bits or pieces have survived.
With the machine still running, pour in the olive oil in a steady stream, emulsifying the purée into a thick pesto. Taste and adjust seasoning. (If you're going to dress the pasta within a couple of hours, leave the pesto at room temperature. Refrigerate for longer storage, up to 2 days, but let it return to room temperature before cooking the pasta.)
To cook the pasta, heat 6 quarts of water, with 1 tablespoon salt to the boil in the large pot. Scrape all the pesto into a big warm bowl.
Cook the pasta until almost al dente. Add the shrimp to the boiling water with the pasta and cook together for the final two minutes. Lift the pasta and shrimp from the cooking pot, drain briefly, and drop onto the pesto. Toss quickly to coat everything, sprinkle the cheese all over if using, and toss again. Serve immediately in warm bowls
Excerpted from LIDIA'S FAVORITE RECIPES by Lidia Bastianich. Copyright © 2012 by Tutti a Tavola, LLC. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.