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Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Favorite Shrimp and Pasta Recipe

Shrimp & Capellini in Bowl by Ted WhittemoreThe days are getting longer and, often, brighter which leads me to crave lighter, more spring-like food -- but still with some of the impact of heartier winter fare -- like the following recipe for Lemon Shrimp Scampi and Capellini, which comes together fairly quickly and tastes unbelievably great, if I do say so myself.

This recipe is a collision of several shrimp and pasta recipes I've run into in the past several years, and I've taken a little from one and some from the others -- can't claim anything as original -- but my tongue doesn't care.

Also, the recipe takes advantage of the fact that we have access at BJ's and Pathmark to some pretty cheap and very good quality frozen shrimp in 2lb bags, just the right size for this recipe. Depending on the sale or price at the time, I have paid between $12 and $16 for approx 25 count per lb 2 lb bags under the America's Choice (A&P) label at Pathmark or various other brands at BJ's.

Ted's Scampi Capellini:

1 lb dried Capellini
2 lbs U25 approx frozen shrimp, peeled and patted dry
reserved shells of the shrimp
1/2 sweet onion diced
1/2 TSP Salt, preferably sea salt
Juice and Zest of 1 large lemon
6 cloves garlic crushed and pressed
5 green scallions, cleaned and finely sliced
1 cup unsalted chicken stock
1 cup reserved pasta water
1 cup med. dry white wine, preferably sauvignon blanc
2 cups finely chopped flat leaf parsley
freshly ground pepper or pepper mix to taste
1/4 cup or to taste extra virgin olive oil
5 TBS Salted Butter

Optional: Red Pepper Flakes to taste (add to marinade)

Emma with Shrimp, Capellini & BowlCapellini only takes 2 minutes to cook, so watch carefully and get it out of the boiling salted water you've cooked it in and into a collander quickly, transfer it to a pasta serving bowl, then immediately toss with several tablespoons of olive oil to keep it from sticking together.

Mix the lemon, lemon zest, salt, pepper, garlic, and olive oil, and toss with the well-patted-dry shrimp. Reserve.

Add the shrimp shells and diced onion to a pot with water to cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain liquid, discard solids, and reduce to 1 cup.

Reserving the marinade, saute shrimp in hot non-stick pan for 3 minutes or so until just barely cooked, stirring once to cook the other side right before removing from pan. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside.

Simmer marinade in shrimp saute pan for 2 minutes, then add 1 cup white wine, and reduce by 1/2. Add the 1 cup shrimp stock and 1 cup pasta water and reduce volume to 3/4 cup or a little more. Add sliced scallions and saute on medium heat for 1 minute.

Add 5 TBS salted butter in 1 TBS pats to pan off the heat and stir to combine with sauce.

Add parsley and stir, then add pasta and shrimp to pan and toss to combine and reheat. Return pasta and shrimp to bowl and serve. If it's still not hot enough, you can nuke it covered for a minute or 2.

Reheats nicely, unlike many pastas, although the pasta tends to break.

Goes nicely with an arugala and spinach salad with a lemon/white balsamic vinaigrette.

Buon appetito!

~Ted


Credits: Bowl, Lemon Shrimp Scampi & Capellini, and photos by Ted Whittemore
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