“When Only Shrimp Will Do”
My dad has mentioned several times how shrimp used to be strictly a Sunday dinner type of meal growing up. Obviously, over the years the price of this delicious crustacean has come down dramatically, making it a wonderful weeknight option. This recipe takes less than a half hour, including the prep and the results are wonderful. Don’t forget the pinch of red pepper flakes. They really bring this dish alive. Makes 4 servings.
- 1-1/2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained & chopped (reserve 2 tablespoons oil)
- 5 large garlic cloves, diced
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 1-1/2 pounds peeled raw shrimp
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1-3/4 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 12 ounces penne pasta
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese (If you don’t have Romano, use 3/4 cups Parmesan)
- Salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste
- In a large skillet over medium heat, saute asparagus in the reserved sun-dried tomato oil for 5 minutes or until tender. Transfer asparagus to a bowl.
- Add tomatoes, garlic, 1/4 cup of the basil, shrimp, oregano and pepper flakes to the skillet and saute until the shrimp become opaque, around 3 minutes. Then add this to the asparagus on the side.
- Add chicken broth, wine and tomato paste to the skillet and boil until thickened, around 5 or 6 minutes.
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and return the pasta to the same pot.
- Add the asparagus and shrimp, sauce the remaining basil and the cheese to the pasta in the pot.
- Toss over low heat until warmed and the pasta is coated completely by the sauce.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
*Wine Recommendation: A light French Chablis goes wonderfully with this meal, taking away some of the heat from the red pepper and perfectly accenting the nuttiness of the shrimp. Look for a low-priced ($10-$15) Chablis from the Loire Valley.