Matt Adler recently took over the stoves at Michael Schlow’s portfolio of Italian restaurants, which include Alta Strada in DC’s Mount Vernon Square and Fairfax’s Mosaic district and Casolare in Glover Park. But this is a recipe he uses for off-the-clock summer gatherings. The pesto can be made in advance, so the finished product is easy to throw together for a family-style feast. Tangy, sweet cherry tomatoes are essential—use the freshest you can find.
(Serves 4 to 6)
Make the pesto:
—1½ cups sliced almonds, toasted 1 cup packed basil leaves
—1 cup packed parsley leaves
—½ Fresno chili, seeded and roughly chopped
—Zest of 1 lemon (reserve the juice)
—1½ cups extra-virgin olive oil
—4 garlic cloves
—1 tablespoon salt
Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until they’re broken down but not finely puréed.
Prepare the pasta:
—1 pound bucatini
—¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
—1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
—1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
—1 cup reserved pasta cooking water
—Juice of 1 lemon
—½ cup toasted sliced almonds
—Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the bucatini in a large pot of boiling salted water, using the directions on the box. Four minutes before the pasta is finished, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan or pot. Add the shrimp and tomatoes and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the reserved cooking water and the pesto to the pan. Drain the pasta and add it. Season with the lemon juice, and with salt and pepper to taste. Mix the pasta so the sauce evenly coats the noodles. (Add a touch of water if the sauce seems too dry, though it shouldn’t be soupy.) Place the pasta in a large serving bowl and top with the almonds.
This article appears in the June 2017 issue of Washingtonian.