The dreariness of hump day – Wednesdays. I’m sure we’re all trying to circumvent through the week, developing the customary midweek blues. It looks like it’s going to be one of those plop-on-the-couch-evenings with the remote in hand, brainlessly searching for something worthwhile, because you’re not about to watch AGT or a rerun of The Walking Dead.
As you’re dipping that multigrain chip into some more guac, you’re contemplating if you’ve even got the energy to order a pizza. Hey, I’m not knocking it, my forays in the kitchen may be anticipated but there are some days that dinner is a fried egg sandwich.
However, if you choose to be spontaneous, you may want to freestyle this extraordinary shrimp recipe over fresh pasta. My culinary subconscious is on even while I’m sleeping so improvisation is key here. These few ingredients blend so harmoniously that there’s nothing yawn-inducing about this pasta dish.
Putting to use some large Costco shrimp from the freezer, which defrosted in 10 minutes submerged in a bowl of cold H2O and with the addition of the triumvirate classic – garlic, shallots and wine, will make the shrimp acquire Moves Like Jaeger. I did throw in a couple of dollops of butter for good measure. Seriously, don’t skip the butter.
I always become an archeologist foraging through my fridge and pantry. Here, some fresh pasta with the addition of few cherry tomatoes to add a splash of color and some basil and parsley from my garden and voilá!! Shrimp scampi pasta in 15 minutes!
1 LB of large shrimp, peeled with tails on
2 shallots – chopped finely
3 large garlic cloves – chopped finely
¼ cup of white wine
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
½ cup of basil chiffonade
Juice of ½ lemon
Pinch of red pepper flakes or ¼ TSP of Aleppo pepper (for color and kick)
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
Pinch of Bonito flakes – or ¼ cup of clam juice
1 PKG of fresh fettuccini or linguini pasta
Heat up some water with some salt and when boiling add the fresh pasta. Cook for about 2-3 minutes making sure it turns al dente, as fresh pasta cooks fast.
In a large skillet with high sides heat some olive oil with a TBSP of butter and a splash of olive oil. Add the garlic, shallots and sauté until frothy with a pinch of salt. Add the shrimp and cook for 1 minute on each side. Remove to a plate. Throw in the cherry tomatoes and sauté for a few additional minutes till they burst a little and become a little wrinkled Splash in the wine, Worcestershire, bonito flakes, Aleppo pepper and lemon juice, reduce for about 3 minutes. Add 1 more TBSP butter, the parsley, basil and shrimp back into the pan. Season with Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. With some tongs scoop out the pasta from the water and add to the skillet. Add a few TBSP of pasta water and thoroughly mix everything together serving onto pasta bowls with some additional parsley and basil.
Bonito flakes, Katsuobushi, are widely used in many Japanese dishes. They are shaved tuna flakes that have been smoked and dried and aren’t salty. One of its most popular uses is for adding umami into dashi, (a bonito and kelp -kombu broth) which makes for the most amazing base in soups, cold soba noodles and ramen inspired dishes. Add a dash to Asian salad dressings or to dumpling and pot sticker dipping sauces (just melt a pinch of bonito flakes with a TSP of warm water).
There is also Dulse, which isn’t the same as bonito flakes. Dulse is a type of kelp that is also used in broths, soups, stir-fries and salads. Both bonito flakes and dulse pack incredible roundness for the flavor profile in many dishes and the uses are endless and versatile. Add them to tomato-based sauces, seafood soups and pastas and fish main courses that have a sauce. This shrimp pasta will acquire an incredible umami boost courtesy of the bonito flakes.