Dinner in a Snap – Shrimp and Pasta
I have a cooking philosophy for the summer – as quick as possible so I’m not sweating in the kitchen. If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile you’ll also notice that I like simple one-dish meals on weeknights – less work and fewer pots to cleanup. While the pasta is cooking, saute the shrimp and sauce, then toss it all together to eat. The fresh, quick cooked tomato sauce – just the opposite of a slow cooked braise in winter – is perfect for the season. But this pasta dish just might take top billing for simplicity and speed as I had it on the table in about 15 minutes – too fast for step by step photography. Take that, Rachel Ray – I’ve cut your time in half!
Orzo with Shrimp and Fresh Tomato Sauce
This type of quick cooked fresh tomato sauce is equally good on pasta with no fish or meat at all, and can be served at room temperature to help beat the heat of summer.
8 ounces orzo (I like a garlic version offered by Pappardelle’s Pasta here in Colorado)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 cloves garlic, minced (use less if you don’t love garlic)
6-8 plum tomatoes, diced
1 cup chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper, to taste
Parmigiano cheese, to taste (just don’t tell any Italian friends you put cheese on seafood!)
While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil, shrimp, and garlic, and cook for about 1-2 minutes, until shrimp are partially cooked through. Add tomatoes and basil and simmer until tomatoes just start to break down and shrimp is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Drain pasta when it’s al dente, reserving some cooking liquid, and toss pasta together with shrimp and sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss in cheese if using. Serve immediately.
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