Friday, May 7, 2010

Iron Chef-ing it...

I know it seems like I'm always trying to use things up before they go bad. The problem is that when I grocery shop, I don't just buy what I need for specific recipes. I like to get things that are in season or just plain look appetizing. Then I have to figure out what I'm going to do with it all. I like to follow a great recipe but what I really love to do is play "Iron Chef". I like the challenge of having a bunch of ingredients on hand and trying to come up with something delicious,  nutritious AND the kids will eat it. I don't always accomplish all three, but I'm happy with two out of three.
So here is a summery pasta dish I pulled together with heirloom tomatoes, a lemon, some shallots and shrimp from the freezer.
Shrimp With Angel Hair Pasta
  • 1 lb of large shrimp (about 20); deveined, shells removed, rinsed in cold water and dried well with paper towels
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • olive oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 small or 1 large shallot, small chop
  • 4 cups of organic tomatoes,  diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • zest of 1 large lemon about
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 lb of angel hair pasta (capellini)
  • fresh basil leaves (optional, but would really make it great!), chiffonade
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Heat up a large pot of water for the pasta.
Add your shrimp to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Give them a good sprinkling of salt and pepper. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over the shrimp and toss with your hands until they are all evenly coated.

When oven has reached 450 degrees, add the shrimp and cook for  about 7 minutes. Then remove from the oven and set aside.

Heat up a large pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the butter.
When the  butter has melted and is bubbling, add the shallots. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the tomatoes, garlic and lemon zest. When it all comes back to a simmer, cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally (add your pasta to the boiling water at this point, it only takes about 3 minutes to cook it al dente so don't start it too early or you'll have it sitting around and it will turn into a sticky blob!). Turn off the heat and add lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Stir to incorporate. Quickly drain your pasta (slightly wet is good) and immediately add it to the pan of tomatoes, etc.. Use some tongs to toss it all together (add your fresh basil now if you have it) gently until all the pasta is coated in sauce.

Cool Tools:


  1. Dang, that looks AWESOME. The kids would love it, too, since they love shrimp.

  2. You should make it and throw in some of your garden basil!