Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pappardelle and Peapods

Okay, I'm speechless, a rare event around here. This is one of the best meals I have ever cooked in my life and I can't find words sufficiently compelling to describe it.

No kidding! The ingredients were terrific but they doubled each other down. It's simple, fresh - just the way I like to cook - but with a spin of quiet sophistication that we really loved. The peas tasted of pure spring, the pasta was rich and brightly yellow and the shrimp sweet and mellow. I can't find the words to describe it and yet I can't say enough about it. You'd just have to make it to see what I mean.

Pappardelle with Peapods and Shrimp, Serves 4

10-12 oz raw small shrimp (I used frozen, thawed)
1 package papardelle pasta, I used Rustichella brand egg noodles
2-3 cups sugar snap peas, de-stringed
2-3 Tbs unsalted butter, divided
1 cup dry white wine
2-3 small tomatoes, finely chopped (I used canned, chopped tomatoes as fresh are still nasty here)
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbs fresh oregano, chopped

While this is a pretty simple recipe, I'd suggest having all the ingredients on hand and prepped before you begin, as the dish comes together fast at the end and you want it to be nice and hot when served.

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente - about 10-12 minutes. Three minutes before the pasta is done, stir in the peas and let them finish together. Drain and transfer to big bowl. Toss with 1-2 Tbs butter and salt and pepper to taste.

While the pasta and peas cook, season the shrimp with salt and pepper to taste. Heat another tablespoon of butter in a wide frying pan over medium high heat. When the foam subsides, add the shrimp and any shrimp juice, sauté, flipping a couple of times until just done, perhaps 3 minutes total - they will get lightly pink when they are done. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate, retaining any pan juices - this stuff is pure gold!

In the same pan, to the juices add the wine, tomatoes and sugar and cook, stirring, until the tomato breaks down, about 4 minutes. Return the shrimp to the skillet and stir in the fresh oregano, tossing together.

Serve the shrimp over the pasta/pea melange and spoon the pan sauce over the top. Let the drooling begin!

I did wonder if a little ParmReg would enhance the dish but we didn't use it this first time and, honestly, it was not missed. We might try it next time but, then again, we might just leave it to the pure, uncomplicated flavors of shrimp and fresh peas that transported us. Win-win situation, huh?

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Blogger Greg said...

I love the way the shrimp cascade down the pasta. Beautiful!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

I know that feeling. You are just so delighted with your elegance. (Elegance meaning perfect simplicity.)
Congratulations, and great photo.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010  
Blogger Mary said...

It looks so beautiful I'm sure it was delicious. I found your blog by chance, but having paged through some of your prior posts I know I'll be back often. Have a fabulous day. Blessings...Mary

Tuesday, March 30, 2010  
Blogger Louis la Vache said...

This appeals to Mme la Vache very much.
«Louis», unable to eat seafood, will have to nibble his way around the shrimp - which is fine with Mme la Vache as it leaves more shrimp for her.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, yes, the photo was nearly as good as the dish!

Cookiecrumb, hey, thanks!

Mary, welcome! Hope to have your comments often. A quick look at your blog was fun, too, so expect some return visits.

Louis, I am sad for you. My Beloved's mother, also, could not eat seafood of any kind. Luckily, there's lots of land food to enjoy!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Ha ha! "Land food."

Wednesday, March 31, 2010  
Blogger Kitt said...

Yum! Taking notes. Quick, easy and delicious make it a winner.

Friday, April 02, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, glad you chuckled.

Kitt, yes, this one's a major winner!

Friday, April 02, 2010  

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