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A version of this recipe helped chef Danny Bowien win the Pesto World Championship in Italy in 2008. He was kind enough to let us adapt it a bit.
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
- 4 cups (packed) fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- ¾ cup finely grated Parmesan
- ¾ cup finely grated Pecorino Romano
- 1 pound pasta (such as gemelli or fusilli)
- 1 ounce thinly sliced Speck, country ham, or prosciutto, chopped
- 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled, deveined
- Freshly ground black pepper
Blend garlic, nuts, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 ice cube in a blender on low speed to a coarse paste. Add basil, 1 cup oil, and 2 Tbsp. ice water and purée until basil is almost incorporated. Add Parmesan and Pecorino; blend to combine. Transfer pesto to a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto surface.
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook Speck, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 2 minutes. Add shrimp; season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until shrimp are just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; toss in pesto, pasta, and pasta cooking liquid.
DO AHEAD: Pesto can be made 3 days ahead. Top with a little oil; cover and chill.