Do you long for summer? I do, and this Seafood Pasta with Zucchini, Pesto & Pine Nuts is the perfect remedy for the winter doldrums! With its bright green color and crunchiness of fresh courgettes, sweet seafood and perfectly cooked al dente linguini, it takes me right back to sunlit days of summer. Cut zucchinis into pasta-resembling strips and set in a colander sprinkled with plenty of kosher salt. Let stand for about 30 minutes to soften them a bit. Meanwhile, make an unusual pesto with basil and flat-leaf parsley combination, pine nuts, sweet olive oil and plenty of Parmigiano-Reggianno cheese. I like to use rock shrimp for its sweet taste and small size in this dish but bay shrimp will work just as fine. Cut the calamari bodies into thin strips, reserving the tentacles and sear them quickly with the shrimp. But you can mix up any type of seafood you like: scallops, lobster, or even smoked fish. Combine all the ingredients and serve this elegant Seafood Pasta with Zucchini strips along with some grated Parmigiano on top and a glass of perfectly chilled white wine. Bellissimo!
Ingredients: green zucchinis, Linguine pasta, rock shrimp, calamari body and tentacles, pine nuts, basil, parsley leaves, extra-virgin olive oil, Parmesan, garlic clove, lemon, black pepper and kosher salt.
For Zucchinis: Slice the zucchinis into long ribbons with a sharp knife. Then cut the ribbons lengthwise into thin strips. Put them into a large colander set in the sink and toss with kosher salt. Allow to drain for 30 minutes, then rinse well and pat dry with the paper towel. Set aside.
Cut calamari bodies into very thin rings. Heat a medium-size pan, add some olive oil and sear the rings and tentacles for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.
Season the rock shrimp with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then steam it quickly for 2 minutes, season with sea salt. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
For the Pesto: Pulse pine nuts in a food processor until smooth. Add basil, parsley, and Parmesan; process until smooth. Then gradually pour in the olive oil until well emulsified. Add a squeeze of lemon. Season pesto with salt and pepper to taste.
To assemble, toss hot linguine and zucchini strips together in a large bowl, then add pesto (add the amount to your taste) and some pasta liquid if needed until saucy. Add the rock shrimp, calamari rings and tentacles, toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Pile onto plates, sprinkle with toasted pine nuts, serve garnished with a few tiny basil leaves and finely grated Parmesan on a side.