Thursday, July 15, 2010

Red Pistou Pasta with Shrimp and Herbes de Provence Crumbs

Red Pistou Pasta with Shrimp and Herbes de Provence Crumbs

Dear friends, I promise, I haven't abandoned my blog. Thank you to those that emailed me your concerns. Unfortunately, computer problems and the craziness of summer have caught up to me and that's why it's been so long since my last post. I hope you can forgive me. Fortunately, I have this really delicious and simple recipe that is perfect for when you don't feel like doing a lot of cooking in the summer time.  A pistou is basically the same thing as pesto, but without the pine nuts. I loved the idea of making a tomato based version and while I loved this, I definitely would ramp up the tomato flavor next time with either slow roasted tomatoes or tomato paste. The herbes de Provence breadcrumbs put this dish over the top. They take two seconds to make, but add so much flavor I could probably eat handfuls of the crumbs on their own. To make this ever so slightly healthier, I used whole wheat pasta and a touch less oil, but even less oil would probably be fine as long as you up the amount of pasta water to keep the pasta moist. This is a great dish for a quick weeknight dinner, and the leftovers are just as great for lunch the next day. It's filling without feeling heavy. With a nice green salad, you've got yourself a great meal.

Red Pistou Pasta with Shrimp and Herbes de Provence Crumbs
(Adpated from Serious Eats)

Makes 2-3 servings

For the pasta and pistou:
8 ounces spaghetti
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes in olive oil
1 tablespoon oil from the sun dried tomatoes
3/4 cup basil leaves
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Zest 1/2 lemon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt to taste

For the Herbes de Provence Crumbs:
3/4 cup baguette crumbs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Heaping 1/2 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a healthy pinch of salt. Add the pasta and cook to al dente, about 10-11 minutes for whole wheat pasta.

Meanwhile, combine the sundried tomatoes, basil, oils, garlic, sugar, lemon zest and juice in a small food processor. Pulse until smooth and the mixture resembles pesto. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and season with salt to taste. Transfer the pistou to a large bowl.

While you're cooking the pasta, makes the crumbs by heating the olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs, Herbes de Provence, and salt and cook until the bread is toasted and crunchy.

Drain the pasta and reserve a half cup of the pasta water. Toss the pasta with the pistou and add more water if it is too dry. Top the pasta with cooked shrimp if desired and a healthy handful of the Herbes de Provence crumbs.

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Adventures in Domestic Cooking said...

This looks so tasty! Anything with Shrimp, is bound to be good.

vanillasugarblog said...

man i miss pasta. and you put crunchy crumbs in there. i just love this.
and yeah, this summer sucks! whats up with that? we need a good august!!

Maria said...

Fantastic pasta dish!

Esi said...

Dawn, no! This summer is awesome! Hence no time for things like blogging :)

lisaiscooking said...

The tomato pistou sounds so good, and with herbes de provence breadcrumbs? Lovely!

M. said...

I love it! Beautiful and easy summer dinner.
Herbes de Provence Crumbs sound delicious.

Anonymous said...

Oooo - this looks fantastic! Never knew that about a pistou :) Although I'm not currently in Provence, the flavors of this certainly would transport me there.


Kelly said...

I love the word pistou. Even though it is so similar to pesto it just sounds more elegant. I also find that bread crumbs are always a welcome addition to pasta. I make a very simple version with caramelized onions and anchovies w/ homemade bread crumbs and despite (or perhaps because of) the simple ingredients it is amazing.

marla {family fresh cooking} said...

Glad to see you back on line...I have been missing your posts. Funny how summer is busier & more hectic than the other seasons (other than Christmas time.) Your pasta looks great, thanks for teaching us about Pistou.

Janet said...

Herbes de provence crumbs, what a nice idea. Looks so tasty - and pistou sounds like a fancy French pesto! Haha.

Joy said...

That looks so good.

The Urban Baker said...

this looks amazing. i so want to go to france this fall. this will have to do in the meantime! can't wait to try it!!

Erica said...

I never knew that about the naming convention (pistou vs. pesto). I love pine nuts. Totally trying this. Thank you Esi. I always miss ya when you don't post :)

Unknown said...

glad to hear you're still eating well and enjoying the summer :) it goes by waaaay too fast in my opinion!! i often forget about herbs de provence, need to use that again :)

Joanne said...

I'm glad to hear you're doing okay! I've been curious about pistou for a while now...I love what you did with it. Especially those crumbs!

Banana Wonder said...

I love simple pasta like this. Sun dried maters are so flavorful!

Diana said...

Praise the Lord! So glad to have you back! And with a great recipe to boot! You are so talking my language with the less oil and whole wheat pasta. Cleanse-approved. :)

Memória said...

I gasped after seeing "pesto without pine nuts". Those pesky nuts are the very reason I've never made pesto. I'm so glad you posted this recipe. It looks amazing.

I'm so glad you're baaaaaaaaccccckkkk!!!! I missed you, Esi!

Don't you ever go away again! (from the movie/play "Annie" haha)

Priscilla - She's Cookin' said...

Shrimp and pasta with pesto, err pistou - you can't go wrong - but the addition of herbs de provence bread crumbs - perfecto! Glad to see you back at the blog - looks delicious!

shaz said...

:) I struggle to keep up to my blog in summer too. It's just too lovely outside. This is the sort of dinner I'd love to have all to myself, mmmm!

Simones Kitchen said...

I was beginning to wonder where you were... But I can see why anyone would be less behind the computer at the current temperatures. It's unfortunate I have to behind this warm machine for work, so I might as well do some blogging in Love this dish. indeed perfect for summer!

LetMeEatCake Eat With Me! said...

yummy! reminds me of Ina's shrimp and linguini light and perfect for summer!

kelly said...

Hi Esi! Sorry to hear your computer has been acting up. Mine is being a bit persnickety as well but I have to whisper that and cross my fingers so it doesn't hear me. Glad to hear your summer is going great, however! The pasta sounds excellent -- we'd love it here. I'll have to give the herbes de provence crumbs a go.

Juliana said...

This pasta dish with shrimps look so the simplicity of it :-)

The Food Librarian said...


Alicia Foodycat said...

I've just today got a new computer, with all my bookmarks restored! I can't tell you how pleased I am not to have 30 pages of posts to catch up on from you.