Hallelujah, spring is upon us! Even though it’s hardly been a brutal winter here in Northern Illinois, I’m still excited for longer and warmer days. This weekend was a much-needed stay at home treat for me, as there’ve been many personal issues that have had me more stressed than usual. lately. I’m a big believer in taking time for yourself. Physical and mental rejuvenation is vital, not only for your own sense of well-being but for also having the strength and peace-of-mind to take care of those you love. Today was that day for me. My feel-good dish of the day was fresh pasta with garlicky shrimp and fresh tomatoes and basil.
This recipe was mostly just inspired by 3 things:
- I was really craving shrimp
- I was really craving something healthy and fresh-tasting
- I had some Roma tomatoes that I really needed to use
Looking for a quick and easy weeknight (or even weekend, in my case) dinner with pasta and shrimp? This definitely fits the bill.
Pasta with Shrimp, Fresh Tomatoes and Basil Recipe
- 9 oz. fresh linguine (I keep Buitoni pasta in the freezer when I don’t have homemade on hand)
- 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (divided – you’ll use 2 Tbsp. for the shrimp and 2 Tbsp. for the sauce)
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped (divided – you’ll use half for the shrimp and half for the sauce)
- 1 lb. raw jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 4 small sweet yellow sweet peppers, cut in half lengthwise, then thinly sliced
- 5 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 4 scallions, sliced
- 1 generous cup loosely-packed fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced. Retain a few fresh slices for serving, if desired.
- Salt and pepper
Cook pasta according to package directions and drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water for sauce.
In the meantime, in a large skillet, over medium-high heat, heat half (2 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil. Add half of your chopped garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add shrimp and cook, stirring often, for about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan and heat. Add remaining garlic and yellow peppers and cook about 3 minutes, stirring often. Add scallions and cook, continuing to stir, about 2 minutes. Add diced tomatoes and their juices, and stir well. Cook for about 7 minutes, until tomatoes start to release all of their juices. Pour over reserved shrimp.
Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to sauce pan and scrape well, loosening bits from the pan. Continue to cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 3-4 minutes.
Add drained pasta to pan and stir.
Add plate of shrimp and tomato sauce to pasta and toss well.
Add fresh basil, stir and remove from heat.
Serve immediately, with reserved basil.
Easy, right? This dish satisfied me today on many levels, with the fresh tomatoes and basil bringing in thoughts of spring when I needed it most.
Pasta is so versatile – you can toss it with a bit of olive oil and so many, many things. Carbs get a bad rap sometimes but when you pack your pasta dish full of veggies and protein, you really can’t lose. Toss in some fresh herbs and you really do have a beautiful, flavorful dish that everyone will love.
Happy spring everyone!