Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lemon Linguine with Shrimp Zucchini and Spinach

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I am learning so much since the first of the year when I decided to concentrate on eating Italian Cuisine (I am laughing calling the series "52 Authentic Italian Recipes"... Laughingly as I passed #52 after week 6, should be 52 weeks... but I digress).

One of the more delicious lessons is that there is so much more to pasta sauces than tomato.  Sage and brown butter, cheesy Alfredo, eggy Carbonara, creamy Vodka and more.  This particular dish became my wife's very favorite sauce of any I have made.  Tart tangy lemons that compliment the shrimp, add zest to zucchini and flavor to the sauteed spinach...

Oh My indeed!

One note on the pasta...

 I have gotten into the tasty habit of making my own fresh pasta.  It really is easy and adds a new level to your dish.  But of course a box dry works just fine.  It is important that you cook the pasta al dente.  This  is easiest to just cook one or two minutes less than the directions on the box.  the pasta is then loose and will absorb the sauce.  A good pasta is coated with the sauce.  If you over cook, the pasta is saturated with the water and the sauce only pools at the bottom of the plate.  MUCH more flavor if you are careful about how much the pasta is cooked.

As to the shrimp, I was lucky enough to find large shrimp on sale.  I made this with tiny small shrimp once and it worked well.  In fact, one shrimp or more in each bite well.  Pre-cooked also works fine, just be sure to cook a bit less in the oil before adding the pasta.

OK, Here's what I did...

Lemon Linguine with Shrimp Zucchini and Spinach

  • 1 Pound Linguine Pasta
  • 2 TBS Olive Oil
  • 2 Shallots , Small Dice
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Medium Zucchini, cut 1/2 inch slices, then quartered
  • Zest and Juice from 2 medium Lemons
  • Salt and Pepper To Taste
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 10 Ounces (1 Bag) Spinach, stems removed
  • 1 Pound Shrimp, deveined, tails removed
  • 1/2 to 1 Cup Pasta Water
  • Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese for garnish
  • Pepper To Taste
Cooking Directions
  1. Make Pasta according to package directions, minus one minute less than listed for an al dente pasta that will absorb the sauce. Reserve 1 Cup starchy water before draining.
  2. While the pasta s cooking, in a LARGE saute pan over medium high heat, add the olive oil
  3. Once the oil is close to smoking, add the shallots and saute for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the Garlic and continue to saute for an additional minute.
  5. Add the zucchini and continue to saute for a couple more minutes.
  6. Add the lemon zest and juice and season with pinches of Salt and Pepper
  7. Add additional Olive Oil and allow to come up to temperature.
  8. Add the spinach and Shrimp and saute for just a couple of minutes. the shrimp will cook very fast, turning pink and the spinach will wilt.
  9. Meanwhile, the pasta should be done. Drain the starchy salty water, reserving a cup to loosen the sauce.
  10. Add the Pasta to the lemon/shrimp/spinach/zucchini with sauce and stir to combine.
  11. Add additional pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce a bit. The pasta will absorb the sauce, leaving the noodles wet but no additional liquid pooling in the bottom.
  12. Garnish with fresh grated Parmesan Cheese
  13. Serve HOT and ENJOY!

A winner on every level!

So much to this and yet it all comes together so fast. Once you have all the ingredients prepped, the dish is finished in about 10 minutes.  Filled with flavors that compliment each other, healthy vegetables and all properly cooked (again, timing on the pasta and only cooking the zucchini to warm and soften a bit... still with a snap).


So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Authentic Italian Recipes"!!!

Well over 52 recipes actually as I just can't stop. The world's most popular cuisine, authentic, natural, organic, Farm to Table... the Italians started, perfected or embraced it before it became a fad. This page is a guide to Italian Cooking... For the home cook!  So, Cin Cin (toast) and Buon Appetito (Enjoy your Meal) to you all and let's Cook authentic Italian!


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1 comment:

  1. I love this recipe. Invented one very similar myself. Going to try this. Yummmmm