It's hard to come up with things to cook, so I usually ask MT and T to pick something every week. MT often picks tacos, and T often picks shrimp and noodles. I've been making this dish since he was a little kid. It's easy, it's tasty, it's quick, and we all like it. I almost always have the ingredients on hand, so it's a go-to meal that's in the rotation. You can find similar recipes that have much fancier names, but I like to call it what it is - shrimp and noodles.
Here are the ingredients:
a clove or two of garlic, minced
red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
I start the water for the noodles first. I pretty much use whatever kind of pasta I have on hand. I always have thin spaghetti, so I use it most often. Be sure to salt the water. It makes a huge difference in the taste of the pasta.
After the water has come to a boil and the noodles are cooking, prep the shrimp and sauce. I use the pre-cooked shrimp. If the tails are still on, I take them off. When the shrimp are ready, I set them aside. In a nice deep saute pan, I put in some extra virgin olive oil and a tablespoon or so of butter. I like the flavor of the two together. Melt the butter over medium low heat and add the minced garlic, a squeeze of anchovy paste and a palmful of red pepper flakes (or less if you don't like the heat).
Let's talk about anchovy paste for a minute. I used to buy a tin of anchovies, but I never used the whole tin in the recipe. All those anchovies made the dish to salty and too strong. That's when I found the tube of anchovy paste. It adds a really delicious flavor to this dish especially, but I put a squirt of anchovy paste in nearly every pasta sauce. It adds a rich flavor and a touch of salt. You might think you won't like it (anchovies, ew!) but give it a try. Really yummy!
Be careful when you are heating the garlic and the anchovy. Use a low heat. It can scorch easily and then you are screwed. You'll have to start over. That's why I don't add the shrimp until the end. When you smell the garlic getting fragrant, then add the shrimp. Mix it all up with the butter/oil, garlic, anchovy, pepper sauce. If you have a lemon, you can put a little of the lemon zest in there and some juice. It's a nice addition. I'm hit and miss with the lemons. I don't usually have them around the house and lime just isn't very good with this dish.
When the pasta is done to your liking, drain it and save a little of the pasta water. Add the pasta noodles to the shrimp and sauce, mixing it all together. If the mixture is a little dry, add a little of the pasta water. Mix it all together, then serve it up. I like to put some Parmesan cheese on my serving. MT hates Parmesan, but T and I really like it.
When T came home on Tuesday from his trip, I made shrimp and noodles for a homecoming meal, and that's what got me to thinking about it as a topic for this edition of Foodie Friday. Give it a try :)
One more thing...today is the last day of July. I was happy to write every day, but next month I will just be writing on even days, so I'll talk to you on Sunday! Have a great weekend.