Thursday, February 2, 2012

18 Minute Recipe: Shrimp with Artichoke Hearts and Spaghetti

Man is flying too fast for a world that is round. Soon he will catch up with himself in a great rear end collision. – James Thurber 

Shrimp, artichokes, garlic, tomatoes...and FAST. What's not to love?
Here’s a recipe to make if you’re in a real rush. From pan to plate it’s 18 minutes. That’s probably the fastest recipe I have in my culinary repertoire.

Don’t think speed sacrifices taste either. This is full of delicious fresh tomatoes and succulent shrimp, spiked with marinated artichokes and the herby taste of vermouth. It’s a true delight.

This is what the tomatoes look like just after the artichoke
hearts have been added.
It’s funny that I don’t think to make it more often. It always springs to mind when I’m pressed for time.

I don’t know for sure where this recipe originated. I make it from memory and this is the first time I’ve ever written it down. I know I have been making it for at least 15 years, and probably longer.

There’s one step you may find strange if you’ve never done it. At the last minute stir in butter as a binding agent. Adding the butter gives the sauce a creaminess you can’t get any other way. It only works with butter though, not margarine. It’s all about the fat. Mmmmm….

If you’re interested, I posted a homemade vermouth recipe yesterday. Mind you, it takes 6 weeks to make so the “quick” aspect of this dish wouldn’t be quite so quick if you counted that time period!

By the way, cooking spaghetti – including boiling the water – should take about the same length of time as the sauce.

This recipe is satisfying and speedy. I’m sure you’ll agree.

Shrimp with Artichoke Hearts and Spaghetti
Prep: 5 min  |  Cook: 18 min  |  Serves 4
Cook the shrimp until just pink – no longer. This picture illustrates
after the butter has been added. Note how creamy the sauce is.
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, cut into eighths
2 garlic cloves
3 sun dried tomato halves, chopped
2 lg Roma tomatoes
6 tbsp vermouth
4 marinated artichoke hearts (or 1 small jar)
2-3 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan cheese
linguine for 4

Heat the oil in a frying pan set on medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic and sun dried tomato and sauté until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

Chop and add the Roma tomatoes and 3 tbsp of vermouth. Sauté until the tomatoes start to break down, about another 5 minutes. Chop and add the artichoke hearts. 

Continue to cook and stir until the tomatoes are quite broken down, another 3 minutes.

Add the shrimp, remaining vermouth and some salt and pepper. Let the shrimp cook until just done, about 5 minutes. Do not overcook the shrimp.

Take the sauce off the heat and stir in the butter until just blended.

Serve on linguine with freshly grated parmesan cheese.


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