I’m still not sure how I wasted so much of my life not loving seafood.
Beyond the fish sticks we ate every Friday night during Lent, I never loved seafood of any kind. Actually, now that I think about it, it was probably because of those fish sticks that I didn’t like seafood. Sorry, Mom, I’m just speaking the truth.
Rest assured, I’ve spent the past few years trying to make up for lost time. I’ve eaten shrimp by the pound. I’ve decimated a dozen Maryland blue crabs in one sitting. I’ve embraced raw oysters. My boyfriend makes a sea bass that’s out of this world, and I cook salmon as often as it goes on sale at Brookshire’s.
I find myself cooking with shrimp most frequently, so I love that Gulf brown shrimp is on sale this week. An old friend of mine, Pete, for whom fishing is more an obsession than just a hobby, always told me never to overcook fish. The same goes for shrimp. It can still be slightly pink when you stop cooking it, and it will pretty much finish itself even after you take it off the burner. If you overcook shrimp, it becomes tough and chewy.
Enjoy this pasta dish; the garlic brings out the flavor of the shrimp beautifully.
Shrimp and Garlic Pasta
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, more for finishing
3 large garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
8 oz medium Gulf brown shrimp, peeled and deveined or large shrimp, halved
1/2 tsp grated orange zest
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 (14.5 oz) can whole tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
8 oz dried fettuccine or spaghetti
3 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for cooking the pasta. In a large skillet over low heat, combine the olive oil and garlic. Cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is just fragrant and beginning to turn golden, about 2 to 4 minutes; don’t let it brown or crisp. Add the shrimp and zest; season with salt and pepper. Raise the heat to medium-high, and sear the shrimp quickly just until they turn bright pink, about 1 minute on each side. They don’t need to be cooked through at this point. Add the wine and let it simmer for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and cook until heated through. Set aside over very low heat if the pasta is not ready yet. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until just tender. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta, leaving drops of water clinging to it. Add the pasta and half of the reserved cooking liquid to the skillet. Gently simmer for a few minutes so the flavors meld and the pasta can drink up the sauce. Stir in the parsley, taste for salt and pepper, and serve warm with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Nutritional information: Calories Per Serving: 900, Calories from Fat: 290, Fat: 32 g (4 g Saturated Fat, 21 g, Monounsaturated Fat, 4 g Polyunsaturated Fat), Protein: 42 g, Carbohydrates: 108 g, Sodium: 1050 mg, Cholesterol: 170 mg, Fiber: 10 g.