Tuesday, April 20, 2010

spicy and perfect

I fear that my friends are going to see this blog and think I'm too sappy for my own good. I do have one friend who may be just as sentimental as I am, and I made this pasta for her family when I visited Pasadena over spring break.

Spicy pasta with shrimp and artichoke hearts

1 lb whole wheat linguine
3 Tblsp. olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 can diced roma tomatoes
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 bunch parsley
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, or more to taste
salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a large pan (as large a pan as you have), and add shallots and garlic. Saute for two to three minutes, then add shrimp in a single layer on top of the shallot garlic mixture. Let the shrimp cook undisturbed until beginning to become pink (three to five minutes).

When shrimp begin to turn pink, flip them over to cook the other side (three to five minutes or until cooked completely, then remove from the pan and set aside. The best way to do this is just by scooping them out into a bowl with a wooden spoon- you want the shallot/garlic mixture to stay in the pan. To the pan you'll then add the diced tomatoes, using the back of a fork or a potato masher to break them up a bit. Let the tomatoes simmer and thicken for ten or so minutes.

This would be a good time to put on the water to boil and cook the pasta. I like using whole wheat pasta in this recipe, it gives a good flavor and texture to the dish, but feel free to substitute regular linguine if you feel so inclined.

Add the shrimp back into the sauce, along with the artichokes, when the pasta is about halfway done. When the pasta is cooked and drained, turn off the heat under the pan and add the pasta and the parsley directly into it. Tossing everything together will be tricky, but I prefer to do so in the cooking pan in order to soak up all the sauce.

Serve in bowls. You may need to use both tongs and a serving spoon to dish everything out in order to get a good ratio of shrimp and artichokes to pasta.

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