July 17, 2013

Summer Shrimp Pasta

We're in the middle of a heat wave.  Out lovely old building does not have air conditioning, and the very pretty large windows only open 6 inches as a burglar precaution so a breezy draft is all but nonexistent.

Our dinner planning largely revolves around it not being too heavy, and not requiring an oven.  Ovens make our home unlivable these days.  In my quest across Pinterest and a few blogs I can across a one-pot pasta by Martha Stewart that inspired tonights dish.  Except that I took out all the veggies it wanted and changed the spices so it ended up it's own thing.

The penne and shrimp are tossed with olive oil, minced garlic, fresh basil, lemon juice, and tomatoes with crumbled feta on top.  It's deliciously light, citrusy, and a little salty with the feta.  Joe declared, "Man, you really have a way with sauce!"  after eating it, so not too bad for a first try.

As usual, the full recipe is at the bottom for a quick reference.

Let's get started!

We used frozen shrimp, as we're nowhere near an ocean.  They're also peeled and deveined because I might as well save myself the trouble. We used about a pound of them.  Throw them in a strainer, run under some warm water, and set aside to thaw.

Now throw a box of penne (or the noodle of your choice) into some boiling, salted water. When the pasta is halfway cooked toss in your shrimp along with it.  When they both look cooked, strain and rinse under some cold water.

Now for the sauce.

The shrimp boils in the same pot as your pasta, and the sauce can be made in the same pot when you're finished cooking up those.  I personally like my tomatoes better cooked, so I threw mine in a pan with olive oil and garlic first.  If you want the cooler, fresher pasta version, then just toss it all in at the end.

Here's the way I did it:

Put olive oil, 2 to 3 diced tomatoes, and 2 minced cloves of garlic in a pan on medium heat. I started this when I poured my pasta in. Just simmer and stir.

When you're just about ready to serve, add the juice of half a lemon (the bottled stuff is fine too- just add to taste).

Sprinkle on some torn/chopped fresh basil.

Now add this to your strained pasta.  I also added half a cup of hot water mixed with some chicken base to richen up the flavor a bit.

And top with a cup of crumbled feta (or as much as you want) and eat up!

This made enough for four people, if you're serving it with some sides.  Corn on the cob, or a light salad would go well.  For Joe and I, we have tons of leftovers.  Especially since we made some snow crab on the side!  It was on sale, and I got over a pound and a half for $11.  I was so pumped.

Enjoy that seafood!

The Recipe

You'll Need:

1 box penne pasta (about a pound)
1 pound frozen, deveined, peeled shrimp

4 TB olive oil
1/2 lemon or 4 TB lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 tomatoes
fresh basil
1 cup crumbled feta

optional: 1/2 cup chicken stock, 1/2 TB chicken base or bouillon

Boil pasta.  When 1/2 cooked, add shrimp, simmer until fully cooked.  Strain and rinse with cold water.

For cooked tomatoes:  put olive oil, minced garlic, and diced tomatoes in pan on medium heat when pasta is poured in. Stir occasionally until pasta is cooked.  Add lemon juice and basil, stir into pasta.  Sprinkle feta over top and serve.

For raw tomatoes:  After straining pasta and shrimp, and your remaining ingredients, stir and serve.

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