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Garlic Roasted Shrimp Pasta

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If it were up to my main squeeze, there would be a lot more pasta cooked in our house. Don’t get me wrong; pasta is one of my favorite things to eat. Cream sauce, red sauce, pesto. I’m all in. But I try not to overdo it. Everything in moderation. Including moderation. Right?

This shrimp pasta dish has become a quick go-to at our house, and  I usually have all the ingredients at home. Due to our sad landlocked state, I keep bags of frozen shrimp in the freezer for fast meals like this. And you can skip the broccoli altogether if you want. See? Easy.

Garlic Roasted Shrimp Pasta with (or without) Broccoli
Adapted from Ina Garten
Serves 2 to 4

2 cups broccoli florets
Olive oil
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper

½ stick butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon rosemary leaves (fresh or dried), minced
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper
1 lemon
½ lb. (½ of a 16-oz. bag frozen) raw shrimp, peeled & deveined (Of course you can always use fresh, but I keep these bags on hand.)

½ box thin pasta such as vermicelli, capellini, or thin spaghetti

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • If using frozen shrimp, quickly rinse under cold water to thaw. Set aside.
  • Sprinkle broccoli with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat. Spread in one layer on a baking sheet and place in the oven.
  • Next melt the butter in an oven-safe sauté pan over low heat. Add the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook one to two minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and zest the lemon into the sauce. Toss in the shrimp and spread into one layer (overlapping is fine).
  • Slice half of the lemon into thin rounds, and tuck those rounds into the shrimp.
  • Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon coarse salt and ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper.
  • Place sauté pan in hot oven. Check on the broccoli and toss.
  • Roast the shrimp for 12 to 15 minutes until they are firm and pink. Do not overcook!
  • Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions.
  • All elements—pasta, shrimp, and broccoli—should finish cooking around the same time. Drain the pasta and pour it directly into the shrimp. Toss to coat the noodles in the buttery sauce. Squeeze the other half of the lemon juice over the pasta.
  • Add the broccoli and toss again.
  • Serve in large pasta bowls. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if you’re into that sort of thing.
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Jambalaya and a Crawfish Pie …

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I’m sure it’s very easy to have some fun on the bayou. But son of a gun, I do not live close to a bayou. So I brought the bayou to me by making jambalaya! The name alone sounds like a party. This hearty one-pot meal is surprisingly simple. I wasn’t so sure at first. But my Louisianan friend Leigh Ann assured me: “All you have to do is get the trinity right. After that, it’s just a little bit of this and a little bit of that!” Below is the beginning of the Cajun holy trinity that Leigh Ann was talking about. This is just equal quantities of onion, celery, and bell peppers. A mirepoix variant, if you will. And I will.

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I took Leigh Ann’s words to heart. Ina’s original recipe calls for chicken thighs, but I am not a chicken lover, so I left those out. You should leave them in if you’re into that sorta thing. Whatever you decide, make this dish the next time you have a crowd coming over. No matter how many people show up, I bet you will have leftovers.

Jambalaya
Adapted from Ina Garten
Serves 10

2 tablespoons good olive oil
1½ pounds andouille sausage
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 red bell peppers, seeded and large-diced
3 large stalks celery, large-diced
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled plum tomatoes, drained and medium-diced
2 jalapeño peppers, minced and seeded
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 cup dry white wine
5 cups chicken stock
3 cups extra-long-grain white rice
3 bay leaves
1 pound peeled & deveined shrimp, tails on
½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 to 6 scallions, chopped
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • Heat the olive oil in a very large Dutch oven or stockpot, add the sausage, and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, turning until browned. Remove the sausage to a plate and sliced diagonally ½ inch thick. Set aside.
  • Add the butter to the pot of browned goodness, then add the onions, bell peppers, celery, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Cook over medium to medium-high heat for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.

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  • Add the tomatoes, jalapeño, garlic, tomato paste, oregano, thyme, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon salt, and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the white wine and scrape up the browned bits in the pot. Add the stock, rice, sausage, and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Stir in the shrimp and simmer, covered, for 5 more minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Stir in the parsley, scallions, and lemon juice. Cover and allow to steam for 10 to 15 minutes, until the rice is tender and the shrimp are fully cooked.
  • Discard the bay leaves. Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of parsley and scallions.

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