Thursday, January 7, 2010

Lou's Most Excellent ItalAsia Pasta

What to say about this? All I know is that it's a) good and b) good for you. I was going to make just a basic pasta and shrimp but the better got a hold of me. The flavor combo is great - how can it not be? And it's quite satisfying.

You gotta boil a lot of water for this - about 4 quarts each - twice. Sorry. It should go without saying that if you have two pots of good size you can boil two pots at the same time....

[Recipe is for two persons]

12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Sesame oil
Chili oil
1 head escarole
4 oz whole wheat fettucini
3 cloves garlic, minced
Red pepper flakes
2 TBS finely minced yellow onion
Extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese block
Sea salt & pepper

Bring 4 quarts of cold, salted water to a boil. While doing that.....

Clean and rinse the shrimp, pat dry. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with about ½ TSP sea salt, toss, then add about 2 TSP of chili oil, 1 TSP sesame oil and 1 TBS of brandy. Toss together and set aside.

Cut the bottom off the escarole and discard; proceed to cut the escarole head into thirds. Clean the leaves in a colander under cold water. You have to clean escarole - it's always full of dirt.

When the water is boiling, add the escarole all at once, pushing it down with something other than your hand. [wooden spoon, perhaps?] Let it return to boil then quickly drain in the colander and rinse under cold water. Leave be for now.

Bring another 4 quarts of salted water to a boil, unless the second one already is.

In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, add about 1 TBS of olive oil along with the garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes to desire and cook until the garlic becomes aromatic - about 1 minute. Squeeze the escarole dry and sprinkle it into the pan, tossing to keep it mixed. Push the escarole to the outter rim of the pan and add the shrimp to the middle, saving the residual juices in the bowl, and cook until tender. Pour the residual shrimp juice over the escarole and toss all together. Tip: you just want to warm the escarole up - not cook it anymore. Also, for faster cooking shrimp, move them to the outside as well.

Add the pasta and begin cooking. If fresh pasta, only cook for 1.5 minutes.

Before draining the pasta, add two laddles of pasta water to the shrimp-escarole mix and toss together. Drain the pasta and mix together with the shrimp-escarole. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with shaved Parmesan.

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