Monday, August 8, 2016

Lemon Shrimp & Vegetables with Lemon Pepper Pasta

I grew up in an "Okie" household so fresh, homemade pasta wasn't on the menu. We had a lot of mashed potatoes! Mom made homemade noodles for her chicken and noodles but that was the closest to fresh pasta we got. I love Italian food and have been experimenting with making my own pasta for the last few years.  What was once an intimidating process to me has gotten a lot less so.  A friend told me about some lemon pepper pappardelle that she got at Trader Joe's.  Of course, I thought, "well, I can do that!" This dish came together, as a result.

To make the pasta I used this recipe, adding 2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning to it. The result was a zesty pasta which added a little pep to the shrimp sauce.

Pappardelle pasta are large, broad, ribbons of pasta.  This shrimp sauce is very mild so having a more substantial pasta rounds the dish out nicely.  Of course, any type of pasta can be used.  If you aren't using lemon pepper pasta I would recommend adding some lemon pepper seasoning to the shrimp sauce to add a little more flavor.

Lemon Shrimp & Vegetables with Lemon Pepper Pasta

1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp (16/20 count size)
12 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced zucchini
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
8 ounces pappardelle pasta (fresh or dried)
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Bring 3 to 4 quarts of  salted water to a boil for the pasta. 

Season prawns with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, stir to combine.

In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat.  Add sliced zucchini and sauté until just tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the sliced tomatoes and sauté until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.  Add 1/4 teaspoon salt to the vegetables, and stir to combine.  Transfer to a bowl and reserve.

Add 2 more tablespoons of oil to the pan, and turn heat to medium low.  Add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes, cooking for 2 minutes, stirring frequently so the garlic does not brown or burn. You want the garlic to cook slowly and the flavors to infuse the oil, turn heat to low, if needed.

Add the shrimp.  Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until just pink in color. Add lemon juice and zest to the pan, stir to combine.  Add the cooked vegetables and basil to the pan, stir to combine with the shrimp.

While the shrimp is cooking, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until tender.  Drain the pasta (reserving the water) and toss with the shrimp/vegetable mixture, adding some of the reserved pasta water, if necessary, to make a creamy sauce.  Add salt and pepper, to taste, if desired.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

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