Oysters & Shrimp in Pesto Vermicelli
Yield - 25 - 30 Buffet sized servings
4 LBS VERMICELLI PASTA
1 TBSP + 2 CUPS EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
1 LARGE ONION (Chopped fine)
1 TSP WHOLE THYME LEAFS
2 TSP WHOLE OREGANO LEAFS
1 TSP WHITE PEPPER
1/2 TSP GROUND CAYENNE PEPPER
3 LBS FRESH 21-25 COUNT GULF SHRIMP (Peeled, reserve the shells and heads for stock)
3 DOZEN OYSTERS
1/4 CUP PESTO SAUCE *
1/4 CUP FRESH BASIL
2 TBSP LEMON JUICE
1/2 BUNCH SHALLOTS (Chopped)
1 CUP FRESHLY GRATED ROMANO CHEESE
Fill a 20 quart stock pot about 1/2 full with water, add 1 TBSP. of olive oil and over very high heat, bring to a rolling boil. Add the pasta, stir several times with a Chefs fork to insure that all of the pasta has separated. Boil the pasta 5 to 7 minutes or until al dente. (Do not over cook pasta.)
While the pasta water is coming to a boil, use a large braiser and over medium/low heat add the remaining olive oil and the chopped onion, sauté the onion until clear, about 5 - 7 minutes (do not brown onions). Stir in the thyme, oregano and peppers, sauté for an additional minute.
Raise the heat to medium/high and add in the shrimp and oysters, sauté for 1 or 2 minutes. Strain off the water from the pasta and add the vermicelli directly to the braiser. Gently fold in the pesto sauce and fresh basil. Coat all of the pasta with the olive oil and seasonings. Serve immediately.
The shrimp and oysters have a tendency to sink to the bottom of the braiser, therefore, if you pour the pasta into a 2 hotel pan the pasta will fall in first and the seafood will then be on top of the pasta. Sprinkle the lemon juice, shallots and 1 TBSP of the cheese on top of the dish and serve immediately. Serve the remaining cheese on the side for individual taste.
This is a quick and easy recipe for do if you have everything ready to go before you start to cook. Timing is critical for this recipe, plan to remove the pasta from the water just when the shrimp turn pink and the oysters begin to curl.
* For this recipe I prefer to use Filippo Berio Brand Pesto Sauce, it can be found at Nor-Joes in Metairie, Louisiana. As a substitute you can use Customs Pesto Sauce (See Recipe).
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Chef Emile L. Stieffel, Aurora Catering, Inc. email address: ChefEmile@CustomCatering.net
Copyright © 1995 Aurora Catering, Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: May 27, 2009.