Grilled Sorta-Caesar with Pancetta Shrimp and Pesto Penne
- 8 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails left on)
- Juice of 1 lemon plus 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 8 sage leaves
- 8 slices pancetta
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more for drizzling
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3 cloves garlic, 2 whole and 1 smashed and grated
- 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3-4 dashes hot pepper sauce
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley (a couple of palmfuls)
- 1/4 cup packed fresh tarragon leaves
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a couple of generous handfuls)
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 2 romaine lettuce hearts, halved
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Pre-heat an outdoor grill or a grill pan to medium-high. Toss the shrimp with half the lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Place a sage leaf in the cavity where the shrimp were deveined, then wrap a slice of pancetta around the shrimp and secure with a toothpick. Drizzle with a touch of EVOO and set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, grated garlic, anchovy paste, mustard, hot sauce and remaining lemon juice. Pour in 1/2 cup EVOO in a slow stream, and whisk. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the penne and cook until al dente. Drain.
While the pasta is working, in a food processor, pulse the 2 whole garlic cloves, lemon peel, basil, mint, parsley, tarragon and pine nuts. Pour in the remaining 1/2 cup EVOO in a steady stream. Transfer the pesto to a serving dish and stir in the cheese; season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the peas and pasta and toss.
Grill the shrimp until pink, about 4 minutes on each side. Set aside. Grill the romaine, turning once, until charred, 2-3 minutes.
Serve half a romaine heart per person, alongside some shrimp and pasta. Top the romaine with the dressing and the almonds.