Friday, October 2, 2009

quick pasta for friends

Woah- its been a while since i posted! No-- i didn't stop cooking, and i have no excuses! i just don't spend a killer amount of time online like some bloggers.... but i vow to do better!

this pasta was so good, i just had to share. the sauce was creamy, the pasta was perfect, and the little pearl onions added excellent flavor and texture to the dish. the sensation of these perfectly cooked onions popping in your mouth with the flavors of the pasta was divine. the celery-which seems out of place, was a last minute addition-and provided some more texture, and reminded me of really good chowder. This simple pasta, with a few great ingredients is in contention for being my favorite pasta... ever.

Linguine with caramelized pearl onions, shrimp and a white wine cream sauce.

1 pound linguine
1 pound cleaned shrimp
2 cloves garlic, minced finely (about a tbl)
1 cup good, dry white wine- good enough to drink
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup shredded asiago cheese
1 bag frozen pearl onions
1 stalk celery, cleaned and diced finely
1 yellow pepper, cleaned and diced finely
2 teaspoons dried herbes de Provence
olive oil
salt and pepper
(a couple tablespoons water or dry sherry/white wine)

caramelized pearl onions
1 bag frozen pearl onions
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch salt and pepper
olive oil to coat pan
(1 or 2 tablespoons water, or sherry/white wine if you're feeling fancy)

In a (not non stick- for the love of god- use a stainless- you'll want the extra flavor of the bits that stick for the sauce-but nothing burned) large pan heated over medium heat, add oil, and when oil is shimmering- saute frozen pearl onions for 5-6 minutes. when the onions start to show some color, add salt and pepper. saute for another couple minutes- the salt will help pull some juices from the onions, and help them caramelize. add sugar, and keep cooking. when the onions are a beautiful brown caramel color, and soft all the way through, remove the onions from the pan and set aside. If you have some sticking happen- don't add more oil- add a little water, or even a little sherry to the pan and scrape the bottom. you only want to add enough to prevent burning- and keep the integrity of the onions. this process can take some time- so i usually like to do some dishes, or clean up the kitchen a little while they're cooking-- but don't worry, it'll be worth it in the end.

in the same pan, heat a little more oil, and saute diced yellow pepper and celery. when they are about 1/2 way cooked, add minced garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. at this point, you should have a nice amount of coloring (called fond) in the bottom of the pan- good work!

make sure that your shrimp has been peeled completely, and is clean and washed. pat the shrimp dry and add a pinch of salt and a couple grinds od pepper. take the dried herbes de Provence in your hand and rub the herbes to release their flavor. add a drizzle of oil to the shrimp, and toss the shrimp with your hands, coating each with a little of the oil, salt, pepper and herbes.

cook the shrimp on medium in the same pan you've been using, and remove from the pan and set aside just before they're done- pink with a little grey- only about 1-3 minutes. We'll be cooking them a little more in the sauce (following).

in the pan with all the yummy bits, deglaze with white wine- scraping up the bits. once the wine has reduced by half, add your cream and simmer for 10-15 minutes-- just the right amount of time to cook your pasta. you'll want to cook your pasta in boiling water with a good amount of salt- but no oil. cook the pasta to your liking (al dente, or with just a little bite left for me and my friends) and drain- saving about a cup of the cooking liquid before you drain.

at this point- your sauce should the thick and creamy. add your cheese, and stir until melted. add your cooked veggies and shrimp- and any juices. stir, and season with salt and pepper if needed. add your pasta back to the pot, and pour the sauce over the pasta. mix well. if the pasta sauce seems too thick- add a little pasta water- about a quarter cup to thin it out. the starch in the water will help bind it together.

serve immediately, and enjoy, because i know you will.

No comments:

Post a Comment