Sunday, March 7, 2010

Roasted shrimp and asparagus pasta in lemon sauce

Today's recipe is one that I have been messing with for a few months now. I finally think I have it perfected.

1 lb angel hair pasta (or any pasta of your choosing, I just think angel hair works best)
Olive oil
2T butter
1 lb of asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
1lb large shrimp, peeled & de-veined
Salt and pepper
Zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 2 lemons
1 large shallot, finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3-4 small anchovy fillets
Shredded parmesan (approx 1 handful)

1. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees
2. Lay shrimp in a pile on a baking sheet. Drizzle with approx 3T olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.
3. Place a large pot of salted water on the stove, add 2T olive oil, and bring to a boil.
4. Bring a smaller pot of water to a simmer (this will be for your asparagus)
5. In yet another pan/skillet slowly melt the butter with 2T of olive oil.
6. Put the asparagus & pasta into their pots. Cook until done to your liking, which will probably take about the same amount of time as the shrimp will be in the oven.
7. Place the shrimp in the oven, and roast for 6-8 minutes until the shrimp is pink and cooked through.
8. Turn the heat a little bit higher under the butter and olive oil mixture. Medium is perfect.
9. Into the butter add the anchovy fillets & stir until they are dissolved.
10. Add the lemon juice, zest, shallots, and garlic to the butter and anchovy sauce. Cook until the shallots are soft. DO NOT burn this. Cook it over medium or lower heat just until the shallots are soft. Then you can either turn the burner off, or put it on the lowest heat possible. If the lemon zest burns your sauce is ruined.
11. When the timer goes off take the shrimp out of the oven, and check to see if your pasta and asparagus are done. Drain the pasta, and drain the asparagus.
12. Place the pasta in the butter sauce and toss to coat.
13. Add the shrimp, asparagus, and a handful of the shredded parm. Stir together.
14. Plate and serve!

Enjoy this meal. It is very easy, and VERY flavorful. Don't be scared of it because it has anchovy fillets in it. When they are melted into olive oil they take on a rich, nutty flavor. It won't even taste like fish.

Here is the cast of characters:

First the lovely shrimp. You are just going to pile them right on a baking sheet like so.
Then you put 3T of olive oil on it, sprinkle with about 1T each of salt and pepper, and toss to coat.
And trust me, if you must sample the wine to be served with dinner at this point, well I sure won't be telling anyone. Consider it a quality control of sorts. Wouldn't want to serve anyone bad wine would you?
Now shake the pan up so the shrimp are scattered across it evenly.
Place a pot of salted water on the stove top and bring to a boil. Place a smaller pot of water on another burner, and bring to a simmer.
Take a large skillet and put it on ANOTHER burner, at which point I was wishing I had a six burner stove. Melt the 2T butter and 2T olive oil over very low heat. Put the pasta in the boiling water, and the asparagus in the simmering water.
Place the shrimp in the oven and set your timer for 6-8 minutes. I set mine for 7 to check their progress at that point.
Now turn the heat up to medium under the butter and olive oil. Pick three or four fillets out of your anchovies.
Put the fillets in the pan, and stir them until they dissolve. Which is really hard to get a picture of it turns out! Where's my professional photographer when I need him/her?!
Then add the garlic, shallots, lemon zest, and juice. Turn the heat down and cook just until the shallots are soft. Like I said above, be very very careful not to have the heat on too high. Burned lemon zest is the nastiest flavor on earth and you will ruin your sauce if you let it get that far. There is no saving it once it's burned.
Now things will be happening quickly. The shrimp, pasta, and asparagus will likely be done at the same time. Take the shrimp out of the oven.
Drain the pasta, and the asparagus.
Now put the pasta (as much as you can fit) into the sauce and toss to coat.
Now add the shrimp, asparagus, and a big handful of the shredded parm.
Stir this together.
Plate it all pretty like, and serve! I usually give another sprinkle of parmesan at this point.

1 comment:

Kat said...

I have to admit that I'm a little afraid of the anchovies. Maybe I just need to quit being a wimp! haha