Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Pasta with Shrimp: It's easier than it sounds

Ever wonder how some people can just go through the fridge and take whatever they find and make a great meal out of it? They'll grab leftover tuna, mustard and an old shoe and make a dish Martha Stewart would envy. Yeah I don't either, I just plot their death, however this recipe will show up those snot nosed brats. It could be classified as a quick meal but my standards for QM's involve only one item or less getting stove cooked. On with the show...

What you need:
  • pot for pasta (make sure it's big enough...)
  • colander (bowl with holes...we went over this)
  • frying pan
  • tongs
  • knife
  • 1 shallot (like an onion but smaller)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup white wine (optional)
  • *bag of frozen pre-cooked shrimp
  • **spaghetti (or any shape)

*You can use the frozen shrimp if you like, it's convenient. If you have a fish market near you then you can get pre-cooked fresh shrimp, and you can get it in smaller amounts than in a frozen bag so you use only what you need. Whole foods has an amazing fish market. I highly recommend going to one, just to take a look, if nothing else.

Note on frozen food: NEVER re-freeze anything unless you want to get food poisoning and die. Once it's thawed, it needs to be used or thrown out.
**Use as much pasta as you think you can eat. If you have other people at home, a box should be enough. If it's just you, take some out (of the box) and hold it. I usually make a small handful for myself, anywhere between 2 to 4 ounces. Remember: a pound of dry pasta looks much smaller than a pound of cooked pasta.

Step 1: Boil, mince, measure.
Fill your pot most of the way with water, salt it and turn it on high to boil.

Shallots. They're like onion's more demure cousin. Chop off the bottom, top and peel off the papery layers. Mince. Smash the garlic cloves one by one with the flat side of the knife and mince. Heat your frying pan on medium with the oil and put in a little bit of the shallot. When that starts bouncing around add the rest of the shallot and clarify (move the pieces around so that they become kind of clear, not browned.) After 3 minutes add the garlic and knock that around the pan for a couple minutes.
You can add a half cup of wine if you like. This is not a requirement though. If you decide to do this, PLEASE go easy. I measure it out with a measuring cup first. You don't want to be bailing out wine and onion bits in the middle of a hot stove.
By this time your water should be ready. Dump in your pasta. Make sure it doesn't bubble over and if it threatens to do so, turn down the heat. Sound familiar?

Step 2: Shrimp – Fresh or Frozen?
For either option you're just heating them through. For frozen, you should leave the bag out when you start cooking. Whatever you use, toss in (to the frying pan) the amount you need, depending on how many people are with you. Warm them up.

Back to Pasta: After about 5 minutes, drain the pasta, give it a shake and then add it into the frying pan. Toss the shrimp, oil, garlic and onion with the pasta for two more minutes to get all the flavors to mix with each other.
Plate and serve!

I highly suggest you guys get a pair of Oxo tongs. These things rock and you can use them for tossing pasta, salads, turning bacon, steaks and pork chops. They rock.

1 comment:

Brad Naprixas said...

Hah, I plot their deaths too! Not that I've ever seen any of these plots through...