Pasta With Shrimp and Cilantro-Lime Pesto 007

Pasta With Shrimp and Cilantro-Lime Pesto (recipe by Bon Appétit, July 2010, p. 18)

This recipe appeared in the “R.S.V.P./readers’ favorite restaurant recipes” section of Bon Appétit this month and it comes from Tejas Texas Grill & Saloon in Hermantown, Minnesota.  It could have just as easily been in the popular “fast easy fresh” column. I love pesto so I was enticed to try it. It seemed like more of a tequila-cilantro-lime sauce than a pesto to me. The sauce is quite piquant and is nicely balanced out by the feta cheese, and is not a bad excuse to purchase a bottle of tequila!

4 servings

  • 1 ¼ cups (packed) fresh cilantro leaves plus ¼ cup chopped
  • ¼ cup (scant) chopped green onions
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped seeded jalapeño chile
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound linguine
  • 1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 3 tablespoons tequila
  • ¼ cup crumbled Cotija cheese or feta cheese


Blend 1 ¼ cups cilantro leaves and next 4 ingredients in processor until coarse puree forms. With machine running, gradually add ½ cup oil. Season generously with salt. Pesto can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Cook linguine in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook until almost opaque in center, about 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; add tequila. Return skillet to heat and stir until sauce is syrupy, about 30 seconds. Add pesto; stir to coat. Remove from heat.

Add pasta to sauce in skillet; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Divide pasta and shrimp among 4 plates. Sprinkle Cotija cheese and chopped cilantro over and serve. Adapted from Tejas Texas Grill & Saloon.


Here’s another recipe that uses a large amount of fresh cilantro: salsa verde. If you are in the mood for a basil pesto try mine: Michael’s Pesto. Also, check out my top 9 recipes that use fresh herbs.

What’s oishii? “Oishii” (pronounced “oy she”) is the Japanese word for delicious. I love sharing great recipes I discover from popular restaurants, cookbooks, food magazines (Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, etc.), tv shows, friends, family, and other blogs. I also develop my own. Please contact me if there is a recipe you would like the test kitchen to consider:

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