Saturday, March 18, 2017

Garlic Shrimp with Fusilli

Mother Nature, you are not my friend anymore! What in the actual heck is going on with you? We've had almost no snow all winter, days and weeks in the 60s and 70s and now you're snowing on me again. So depressing and frustrating. The sneak peaks of spring weather really make me want to get outside and plant things. Fresh herbs, big pots of tomato and pepper plants, a few flowers here and there, edible of course, for spicing up salads. The only good thing about these cold and snowy days is I am forced to bundle up in the house and cook something. Soul warming dishes like pastas usually end up on the table on days like this and today we're making a quick pasta dish that features lots of shrimp and garlic, herbs and sauced with olive oil and butter instead of heavy red sauce. It's quick enough for a weeknight even.

For my protein I chose shrimp. Hey, I love shrimp. Even as a little kid I was more than likely going to order "fimps" when out to dinner with my parents. Shrimp is a seafood that's readily available and not terribly pricey. Make sure you use uncooked shrimp and not the pre-cooked, which will result in pasta with rubber garlic nuggets. Not what you're looking for at all. For most dishes I buy the size 41-50 shrimp. If you're not sure what this means, just ask at the fish counter or check the package if frozen. The number refers to the number of shrimp make up a pound. I find this size to be the best in recipes- they are bite size but not teeny like salad shrimp. Be sure to peel off the shells and legs and remove the black vein completely. You do not want to eat that. Always pat them dry with paper towels so they cook without steaming.

This recipe features Sinful Food garlic olive oil and Signature Seasoning. I have really fallen in love with these products and can't imagine cooking without them. The Signature Seasoning never gets put on my spice shelf- it sits right on my work area because I use it that often. Seriously guys, there is nothing this stuff doesn't taste great on. Nothing. The olive oil is beyond amazing with all that fresh garlic flavor and aroma. It's delicious in the simplest croutons to the most complicated French recipe. 

I also had been saving the imported fusilli I picked up at Graziano's when Mary and Angi and I went shopping there a few weeks ago. You can read all about that adventure by clicking HERE

The quality of this brand of pasta is just incredible. The pasta shape stays fully intact after cooking, it doesn't become too mushy too quickly, and it has a very fresh texture- almost as if it was freshly made and not a dried pasta. Believe me, I had to pry this out of The Chef's hands a number of times just trying to keep it for the right recipe. This was definitely the right recipe. Quite a few of my foodie and chef friends also recommended this brand and shared stories about the high quality and how much they love using this. Graziano's is absolutely the right place to get great imported Italian foods in Des Moines. I really need to get back over there and restock my pasta hoard.

Pan Grilled Garlic Shrimp with Fusilli

12 ounces uncooked shrimp
8 cloves garlic
3-4 tablespoons Sinful Food garlic olive oil
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
Sinful Food Signature Seasoning
1 lb fusilli pasta

Start a large pot of salted water to boil.

Remove shells (and tails, I prefer) from the shrimp and devein. Pat shrimp dry with paper towels and place on plate. Season generously with the Signature Seasoning.

Place the garlic on a chopping board and very finely mince. Set aside. Chop the herbs and set aside.

When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving one cup of the cooking water. Keep warm.

Heat a large heavy skillet (cast iron is great) over high heat until very hot. Add a couple tablespoons of garlic olive oil. Add the shrimp, in a single layer. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the shrimp are beginning to brown. Flip and cook on the other side another minute or two. Remove from skillet and keep warm. Add remaining olive oil to skillet, then add garlic. Reduce heat and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute. Add the crushed red pepper and thyme. Cook for a minute or two until garlic is tender but not brown. Add the stick of butter and half a cup of the pasta water. 

Bring to boil and cook until butter is melted and sauce is emulsified. Add the shrimp and parsley back into the sauce. 

Add the pasta, tossing to coat, adding additional pasta water if needed. Serve immediately.

You can get dinner on the table in under 30 minutes with a fast recipe like this. The pasta takes the longest to cook. Just grab some crusty bread to serve with, and a fresh salad. 

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1 comment:

  1. This looks delicious! I'm going to have to find some of these noodles. They look so neat. And I've always been a shrimp fan too ;)