Regardless how much we love to cook, we all have those days that cooking isn’t the top thing on our minds. Yesterday was one of those days but you still have to eat and dining out wasn’t really an option.
Yesterday was a busy day with lots on everyone’s mind. Quickstep has more hoops to jump through trying to get a job with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office. Baby Lady is busy at work. I’m getting ready to do some work related travel and watching some things unravel. Not a cooking kind of day at all because everyone’s focus was elsewhere. As the evening progressed, we were all looking at each other wondering what to have for dinner and it was getting later and later. We asked Quickstep what he wanted for dinner. He said “one of them chicken pot pies” because we had roasted and deboned 2 chickens on Monday. Given the hour and the time needed to make the dough, let it rest, etc., etc., etc., we politely explained that wasn’t an option. Finally, Quickstep looked at us and said “Why don’t you cook that shrimp pasta thing you do?” We do several so we asked which one, to which he responded “That green one.” We chuckled. You see, Quickstep doesn’t really like to cook and never really pays attention to the fancy names we throw around for what we are feeding him. He just remembers what he likes. One of the things he likes is pesto or pistou. He loved the Herb Crusted Salmon with Citrus Arugula Pistou and Grape Tomatoes we had the night before and we had 1-1/2 cups of Citrus Arugula Pistou left over. So, this was a grand idea. This makes an elegant meal that is simple and takes less than 30 minutes to make, including making the pistou. If you already have the pistou, you can have dinner in around 15 – 20 minutes. It’s perfect for weeknight meals. Give this a try.
- 1 cup Citrus Arugula Pistou
- 1 lb 26 – 30 count shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 lb Gemelli pasta (penne, rotini, fusili, or similar pastas will work)
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1/2 pt grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 Tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 Tbsp Zatarian’s Shrimp & Crab Boil seasoning
First, preheat an oven to 350 F and bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. You need to use a lot of salt to boil pasta so the pasta is seasoned. I usually use a handful of coarse sea salt with is typically 1/2 up or so. Once the water comes to a boil, Add the pasta.
Once aded to the water, stir the pasta so it does not clump or stick together. We use gemelli, rotini, and fusili pasta because it has all of the little twists and crevices that catches the pistou and adheres it to the pasta. The gemelli takes 10 minutes to cook.
While the pasta is boiling, spray a baking sheet with PAM and season the pan with 1 Tbsp Old Bay and 1/2 Tbsp Zatarain’s. You are about to place your shrimp on the baking sheet and you want the shrimp to be seasoned on both sides. Treating the pan accomplishes this without having to turn the shrimp over and seasoning the shrimp.
Place the shrimp on the baking sheet.
Spray the shrimp with PAM.
When there is roughly 2 minutes left to cook the pasta, place the shrimp in in the preheated oven and roast the shrimp for 3 minutes. This should give you time to drain the pasta when it is done, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Put the pasta in a bowl and mix with pistou.
At the end of 3 minutes, remove shrimp from oven. They should be just underdone but will continue to cook from the residual heat from the pan.
Notice how pretty the shrimp are? They also are more flavorful by doing them this way than by boiling them.
Next, after you have fully incorporated the pistou with the pasta, take 1/2 cup pasta water and mix with the pasta and pistou. By adding the pasta water you melt the parmesan cheese and make a smoother, creamier sauce from the pistou.
Now add the halved grape tomatoes and incorporate.
Add the shrimp and incorporate.
A little crushed red pepper
Serve & enjoy!
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