A dinner fit for your Valentine
I made a small portion of this yesterday just to see if what I cooked in my head would work on my stove. The good news is that it turned out every bit as delicious as I had hoped! The bad news was that I didn’t measure anything as I went along. So today I made round two of this deliciousness, carefully measuring and writing down the ingredients and their proportions. I have decided to call it, Shrimp and pasta in rich vodka sauce. (A sure way to seduce your Valentine.) Serves 2.
I used heart-shaped pasta in honor of today, but it would be every bit as good with angel hair.
- 2 cups shaped pasta
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large scallion, minced
- 10-12 large (21-25 size), uncooked shrimp
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 scant tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 cup clam juice
- 1/4 vodka
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons capers
For pasta, bring large pan of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook to al dente. (Pasta cooks while you prepare the rest of the meal, so time accordingly.)
Melt butter in a large sauté pan or skillet. Add scallion and shrimp. Cook until shrimp are almost done (approximately 2 minutes), stirring constantly. Add garlic. Continue to cook until shrimp are done, about 1 minute more. Remove shrimp from pan. Stir in wine and cook over medium-high heat until wine is reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Whisk in the tomato paste, clam juice and vodka. Stir until reduced by half. Add the half and half, salt, pepper and capers. Continue to cook for another couple of minutes.
Add the shrimp and the cooked, drained pasta. Toss to coat. Serve immediately on warm plates or bowls.
A note about cooking shrimp: I often read about how important it is to not overcook shrimp. (If they’re overcooked they’ll be tough.) However, in my opinion it’s equally as important to not under-cook shrimp. I don’t like biting into one that’s still raw in the center! When I think they look done I will remove one shrimp and cut it in half. If it’s still slightly grey in the center I continue to cook for another minute.