Monday, April 21, 2014

Fresh and Bright Shrimp Scampi with Gluten-free Pasta


Hope everyone had a great Easter weekend with friends and family.  Thankfully, the weather finally warmed up and was able to celebrate with a friend and mimosas on the deck enjoying the long-awaited sunshine while the kids were continuing to enjoy the holiday by hiding the eggs in the yard.


Hubby finally made it home from work in time for a traditional Easter meal of ham, cheesy potatoes, grilled asparagus and the family favorite Rhodes rolls in the evening and we enjoyed a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood.  Of course too much sugar was consumed, wouldn't be a holiday without it!

The recipe I want to share with you today is for a fresh, bright, light scampi sauce served with shrimp over pasta.  This was our first adventure with gluten-free pasta and I think it went over pretty well.  Our oldest was the only one who objected.  The rest of us enjoyed it just the same.

With a medley of flavors like this, the fact that anyone even noticed that the pasta was gluten free is beyond me!  I couldn't get over the party that was going on in my mouth!

On with the recipe…Since the sauce itself comes together very quickly, I got the pasta water started first to ensure enough time for the proper cooking.  The 12 oz box of gluten free pasta was Ronzoni and I have no complaints.  But, would always be willing to hear others' recommendations for gluten-free pasta.  


The shrimp scampi started with two tablespoons of butter over medium heat, tossed in one tablespoon of minced garlic and one pound of shrimp.  More shrimp would always be welcome by the gents in my house, so if you've got it, go for it!  Then, top the shrimp with a teaspoon of ground (or crushed) red pepper.

Also, some salt and fresh ground pepper, just a light layer is my definition of "to taste!"  Can always add more later!

I love the mild, underlying, lingering heat in this dish, thanks to the red pepper.

After the shrimp are mostly cooked, seriously, only takes about 5 minutes if they are properly thawed, we can get this scampi sauce under way.


Start with a quarter cup of white wine, I had a Chardonnay on hand that complimented this dish perfectly.

Then, add the juice of half of a lemon or less than a quarter cup of prepared lemon juice.  This adds the brightness to the dish.  Oooooh, I'm salivating at the thought!


While the sauce is simmering, I have to add in my signature vegetable.  This time it was a couple handfuls of fresh spinach, because it wilts perfectly, so quickly.  (Apparently we were in some hurry, but I can't remember for the life of me what could have been so important! Irony at it's finest!)

Other vegetable additions that would work include asparagus, as it is quite seasonal right now, or green beans, as they are always a  popular option.  Just to name a few, but really the options are endless.

Upon draining the cooked spaghetti and serving the shrimp, sauce and spinach over top, the plates were topped with some fresh Parmesan and dried basil (fresh would have been delightful as well...can't wait for the garden!)


I haven't stopped thinking about this dish since we enjoyed it last week.  The brightness of the fresh citrus, coupled with the nutty Parmesan and Chardonnay notes, finished with the lingering heat of the red pepper....I was in heaven!


RECIPE

Ingredients:

12 oz box of gluten free pasta
2 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp of minced garlic
1 pound of shrimp
1 tsp of ground (or crushed) red pepper.
salt and fresh ground pepper - to taste
1/4 cup of white wine
Juice of half of a lemon (or less than 1/4 cup prepared juice)
Fresh spinach
Fresh Parmesan
Basil 

Directions

Cook pasta according to instructions.

Melt butter over medium heat in large saute pan.
Add garlic and shrimp, season with red pepper, salt and pepper.
After tossing once, after about 2-3 minutes, add wine and lemon juice.
Bring to a boil.
Add vegetables.

Serve sauce over cooked pasta, top with Parmesan and basil.