Garlic & Butter Shrimp Penne
The beginning of October is extra special to me -- it's the time of year my amazing mother was born! Since she and I are escaping to Lake George for her birthday on a girl's trip, I decided to have a little celebration before we left so that my step dad and Ahmet could join in on some of the birthday fun!
Ahmet and I (mostly Ahmet) made garlic and butter shrimp penne, and it turned out perfect. What I love about this dish is how light it is, which is sometimes difficult to find in the pasta department. The bitterness of the arugula and acid of the grape tomatoes balanced out the copious (and totally necessary) amounts of butter we used, and per usual, my very lovely and aromatic friend, garlic, added that extra burst of flavor that we all love so much. The dish was garnished with fresh Italian parsley and grated parmesan, and accompanied by a couple bottles of pinot noir. Is your mouth watering yet?
We ended the evening with a delicious carrot cake, prosecco and acoustic guitar, courtesy of my step dad... An especially lovely night, if I do say so myself.
Here's a little slow lifestyle reminder for today: do the best you can to slow down and show the ones you love how much you care about them. Not just on their birthday, but always.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
12 ounces penne
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
20 medium shrimp
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup half and half or heavy cream
1/4 - 1/2 cup pasta water
2 cups fresh arugula
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1. Bring a large pot of water and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt to a boil. Add penne and two tablespoons of olive oil to water; cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain pasta (saving 1/2 cup of the water you cooked it in) and set aside.
2. Season shrimp with salt and pepper to taste, set aside.
3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes. Stir frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
4. Add shrimp, stirring occasionally. Cook until pink, about 2-3 minutes; set aside.
5. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in the pot. Stir in half and half and 1/4 cup pasta water. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce thickens. Slowly stir in penne, arugula, tomatoes and parmesan. Cook until arugula begins to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add remaining pasta water if penne is too dry. Stir in shrimp.
6. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley and grated parmesan.