Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Shrimp, Grape Tomato, & Artichoke Fettuccine

This one time, I was driving down the road with my windows down and Carrie Underwood on my radio. It was one of the first really pretty spring days we'd had, warm air and a little breeze. I was wearing a sundress and big sunglasses. I was also singing louder than Carrie, which I didn't realize was possible. I was at a stoplight and was just finishing up "Cowboy Casanova" when I noticed a young boy hanging out of the back of a truck cab and fervently applauding my performance. I blushed. And I laughed because I earned that applause! I...have no shame it would appear.

Get your face in this pasta. It's one of those 30 minute, weeknight-friendly dinners. It's full of things I lurve, like shrimp and artichokes and capers. Get to it!

It looks like a lot, but most of this was in my pantry/fridge. You need: fettuccine noodles, marinated artichoke hearts, capers, olive oil, grape tomatoes, cherry peppers, Parmesan, bay leaves, thyme, garlic, shrimp, cannellini beans, dill, and a lemon.

Simple prep. Slice the tomatoes and give the garlic, peppers, and artichokes a rough chop. We're going for a rustic vibe.

Heat a healthy amount of olive oil in a large pan. You want it to be big enough to toss the pasta in later. Add the tomatoes, peppers, artichokes, beans, garlic, and bay leaves. We're warming everything through and letting it get friendly. While this is going down, cook the pasta just shy of al dente. It'll finish cooking when we add it to the pan.

Chop the thyme. Fresh herbs are best added a little later in the dish.

Add the thyme, dill, and capers. Don't forget to squeeze the lemon juice over it! Season with a little salt and pepper.

Finally, shrimps go in. Your pasta should be just about ready at this point. Before you drain it, reserve a cup of the starchy pasta water.

When the shrimp are mostly pink, add the pasta to the pan and toss it around. It'll finish cooking when the shrimp are ready. Add a little pasta water to form a thin sauce.

Grate a little fresh Parmesan over the pan and plate it up.

A little more fresh Parm over the top never hurt anybody. And if it did, I don't want to hear about it. P.S. A crusty French roll toasted with butter will always be appropriate. It's the little black dress of carbs.

Shrimp, Grape Tomato, & Artichoke Fettuccine (serves 4-6)

1 lb fettuccine noodles
1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4-5 marinated artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 c chopped cherry peppers
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 dried bay leaves
1 tbs capers, drained
1 tbs thyme, chopped
1/4 tsp dried dill
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 tsp salt
Black pepper, to taste
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tbs grated Parmesan, plus more for topping

  • Start boiling the water for the pasta. While it comes to a boil, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add the beans, artichokes, grape tomatoes, cherry peppers, garlic, and bay leaves. Saute for 5-8 minutes, just to heat everything through.
  • When the water is boiling, add the pasta and salt the water liberally. Cook the pasta until just shy of al dente, about 9 minutes. Reserve a cup of the pasta water and drain the noodles.
  • Add the capers, thyme, dill, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to the pan. Saute another 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook 8-10 minutes or until pink. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, when the shrimp are just shy of pink, add the fettuccine noodles and a little of the pasta water to help form a thin sauce. Stir in the Parmesan.
  • Toss the shrimp mixture and noodles until noodles are coated. Serve immediately with a little more Parmesan on top. 

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