My beautiful friend Shawn (she's a lady, thank you very much) came over for a chill Sunday night of wine-tasting (we had Toad Hollow Dry Pinot Noir Rose) and pasta-shoveling. She is a first-time Fearless Cook guest, a lover of all things feline, and an all-around wonderful gal. She loves pasta just as much as yours truly, so I knew she'd be into Shrimp Scampi. I've made a few dishes like this in the past, but none so lemony and delightful as this one. Read on to see how it all came together.
SHRIMP SCAMPI WITH ROASTED TOMATOES & BROCCOLI
1 T. olive oil, plus more for tossing with tomatoes
2 T. butter
1/4 white onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
juice of 1 and 1/2 lemons
about a dozen large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
6-7 large broccoli florets
about 12 large graperoma tomatoes, halved
4-5 large basil leaves, chiffonaded
1/3 c. chicken broth
1/3 c. reserved pasta cooking water
salt and pepper
pinch red pepper flakes
pinch all-purpose salt-free seasoning
1 12-oz. package whole wheat linguine, fresh (refrigerated); [or use any refrigerated fresh pasta]
grated Parmigiano Reggiano for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375. Coat a baking sheet lightly with nonstick spary. In a bowl, toss the halved tomatoes and the basil with a little drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Place on the baking sheet in a single layer and roast for about 15 minutes, until skins are wrinkly and tomatoes are very soft. Set aside.
Begin to heat a pot of salted water for the pasta. While that's coming to a boil, heat the butter and olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute. Add the lemon juice, chicken broth, broccoli, parsley, a little salt and pepper, all-purpose seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, until the mixture has reduced a little (do not let all the liquid evaporate).
Add the pasta to the boiling water and have a colander ready - fresh pasta only takes 2-3 minutes to cook. Add the shrimp and the reserved pasta water to the saucepan and add a little more salt and pepper (taste first). Stir in the roasted tomatoes. Cook for 4-5 minutes over medium heat, until shrimp are pink. Meanwhile, drain the pasta and return pan to stovetop, off the heat.
Return the pasta to its original pot, and pour the entire contents of the saucepan into the pasta, tossing to combine (pasta should still be very hot when this happens). The pasta will soak up some of the sauce. Garnish with grated Parmigiano Reggiano and top with a little more chopped parsley if desired.
SHAWN: This is delicious. I can really taste the lemoniness. I love the parsley in it. It's so good.
Thanks, Shawn! You're one sweet guest.
MY VOTE ON MY DISH: I'm going for 9 stars! I agree with Shawn - this came out super-yummy. It was just the right ratio of sauce to pasta to shrimp, and while other people may have found the generous smattering of parsley and bold lemon flavor overpowering, I think the whole wheat pasta really stood up to it well. And roasting the tomatoes really brought out their sweetness. I could've eaten a whole other bowlful (and you'll never know even if I did...wink.
Thanks so much to Shawn for coming over, and thanks for reading! More soon...