Saturday, April 18, 2009

Garlicky Shrimp and Fresh Spinach Pasta

I just about flipped my lid when I saw
this lasagna recipe from Lynne Rosetto Kasper, via Zoe Bakes. If you are a normal human, you now want to dive into a swimming-pool sized vat of this and eat your way out. Not quite ready to commit to a full pan of lasagna, but (as you well know) still a big fan of fresh noodles, I took to scaling this spinach pasta recipe down for a regular, weeknight meal. I may have mangled it (sorry Lynne!) but it tasted just fine to me and my pasta-loving laborer, who always graciously and tirelessly does the rolling.

I don't know if it's the spinach or the whole wheat flour that I subbed in, but letting the dough sit for an hour or so before rolling helps with the consistency, so build that into your planning. You want the spinach really finely chopped, so a food processor is ideal, but some patient knife work will do just fine. Half of this recipe served us both well; I'm really excited about the other half that's still waiting in my fridge...

Secondly, the shrimp. This is a really simple, classic way of preparing shrimp that takes no time at all. Garlicky, lemony, and delicious, the only was we stretched this was by adding some additional chicken broth and lemon juice at the end to make enough sauce to toss the pasta in. It would be great with just a piece of crusty bread, no pasta necessary.

Fresh Spinach Pasta
3 oz frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeeeeeezed dry
1 1/2 cups flour (we used half all-purpose and half barley)
1 tsp salt
1 egg

If you're processing, toss spinach, flour, salt, and egg in the machine and turn on. Slowly stream in water just until a shaggy dough starts to come together. Turn dough out and knead it a couple of times to form a ball. Wrap in plastic and let rest at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.

If you're not processing, make sure your spinach is finely, finely chopped. Place flour and salt in a bowl and make a well in the middle. Add egg and spinach and stir to combine. Gradually add water 1 Tbsp at a time until you get a shaggy dough. Turn dough out and knead to form a ball. Wrap in plastic and let rest at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.

*The ball will moisten as it sits, ok, so don't add too much water during the mixing process. If you do, no problem, you'll just use lots and lots of flour as you're rolling to offset.

Roll out the pasta and if you have the time, let it sit to dry out for a little while. [We did not do this.] Cut into noodles and boil 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately.

Garlicky Lemon Shrimp
8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 cloves garlic, minced and divided
1 small onion, minced
1/2 cup white wine, plus 2 Tbsp
1/2-3/4 cup broth
1/4 cup lemon juice, divided
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 Tbsp butter
Parmesan or Asiago cheese to grate over

Film a medium skillet with oil. Saute onion with a little salt, 2-3 minutes. Add half of garlic and cook 1 minute more. Stir in 1/2 cup wine and let reduce until almost gone.

Salt and pepper both sides of shrimp and place in a single layer in the pan; let cook about 2 minutes, until pink about halfway through. Flip and cook 1 minute more. Remove to a plate and cover with foil.

To the now-empty skillet, add remaining minced garlic. Cook 1 minute. Introduce 1/2 cup broth, lemon juice, and remaining 2 Tbsp wine . Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer until reduced by about 1/2. [Keep extra broth on hand in case you need to add more liquid.] Taste and season with salt and pepper.

When you're happy with the sauce, return shrimp to pan and toss. Turn off heat and add parsley and butter. Layer shrimp and scrape sauce out over pasta. Cover with a healthy coating of cheese.

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