Shrimp with Pasta and other amazing stuff…

Last Friday I met my husband at Barnes and Noble for a late afternoon coffee and cookie…and because the newest additions of our favorite magazines were out and we HAD to have them, he’s obsessed with some fishing mag called “Drake” and I am in love with Food & Wine (both the magazine and the real thing).  This month’s issue of Food & Wine definitely did not disappoint.  There was an article featuring Giada’s new restaurant opening in Vegas and this recipe is one she will serve at said restaurant (the restaurant is called “Giada”…duh).

I am a sucker for any shrimp and pasta dish so I was drawn to this right away…plus it called for fried capers, end of story.

I only tweeked the recipe slightly to lower the fat content, but I stayed true to the ingredients…here they are.

1 pound shrimp, peeled and de-veined 
1 pound pasta (she used spaghetti, I used whole wheat penne)
1/2 cup reserved pasta water
1/4 cup capers
1/2 cup chopped basil (plus more for garnish)
2 large lemons
2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan 
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Start by getting a large pot of salted water going on the stove for your pasta…I used whole wheat penne but anything will do.

What got me hooked right off the bat with this recipe were the capers…you fry them.  I had never done this but now I had too.

I LOVE capers!

You just take those glorious capers and fry them in a good amount of olive oil, like this…

Use a large heavy bottom skillet for this because your whole dish is going to end up in the same pan you fry the capers in.

Fry them over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes, string occasionally…and then fish them out with a slotted spoon and let them rest on a plate lined with a paper towel.  Make sure you save the oil in the pan because you will saute the shrimp in it…caper infused oil is a wonderful thing I found out.

Some of these capers got pretty toasted and I was worried about the flavor but then I tasted one…holy moly, party in my mouth.

Once your water is boiling, get your pasta in and then start making the sauce.

For the sauce…just combine the parmesan cheese, olive oil, lemon zest from two lemons, and lemon juice from the same 2 lemons…

Now mix it well with a fork…

Your pasta will be done soon so you need to get that shrimp cooked…just re-heat your caper oil in the large skillet to medium heat and add your shrimp…

Cook them for just about a minute or two on each side…

Now you need to get your pasta back in there…remove about a 1/2 cup of the pasta water and drain the rest.

Throw the pasta over the shrimp, and then throw in your sauce and turn the heat to medium low…

Stir this around and add a little bit of the pasta water…you probably won’t need 1/2 cup but just use enough to help incorporate everything together.

Now you need some basil…

I just roll them up and cut them into ribbons, AKA the chiffonade…

Throw that in and then add those amazing fried capers we made earlier…stir until everything is incorporated.

Time to eat!!!

Seriously…my mouth is watering.  I had this for dinner last night and lunch today and I still want more.  I garnished mine with a little more fresh basil and it was just perfect.  You can also save the fried capers for the very end but I don’t mind that my parmesan cheese melts all over them…dear GOD it’s so good.

That Giada knows her stuff, someday I will go to Vegas and order this dish at her restaurant…and she will just happen to be there, we will get to talking about how I recreated the dish after seeing her article in Food & Wine and the next thing you know I’ll be showing her my blog and she will think it’s amazing… “witty and fresh” is how she’ll describe it, we will ink a book deal on the spot…hey, it could happen.


The Good Cooker


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