Impromptu dish: Shrimp pasta

Like so many times I wandered into Fairway Market on Sunday with the intention of buying two or three items and ended up walking out with a lot more than I intended. It always happens as I wander through the market and see something is on sale that I didn’t know or something looks particularly fresh.

On Sunday I noticed the jumbo shrimp at the fish counter. It was on sale ($6 a pound!) and looked particularly good, so I grabbed half a pound to make for dinner. I hadn’t intended to make shrimp for dinner and was planning to make chicken, but now I needed to cook the shrimp.

I have a few go-to dishes when I buy something I didn’t intend to at the market, especially fish. In this case it’s a pasta dish. It’s not quite a scampi, though it’s close enough. You need to adjust the amounts based on how much shrimp and pasta you’re cooking.

Shrimp (I had 1/2 a pound)
Butter (I used three tablespoons)
Wine (I eyed it)
Flour (slight amount if you need to thicken the sauce a bit)

I like to get the water going for the pasta before I start cooking the shrimp.

Shell the shrimp and clean it. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the garlic. Then add the shrimp. Cook until it’s pink. Then add the wine and the spices. You want the sauce to cook down a bit, and sometimes adding a little Wondra to thicken the sauce if I find it’s just not reducing enough for me.

The key to this and any other pasta dish is that you want to finish the pasta cooking in the sauce. Cook the pasta according to the package, but cut the cooking time by two minutes. Another key is to scoop the pasta out of the water rather than draining it into a colander. Add it to the shrimp and the sauce. Let it cook through. The pasta will soak up a lot of the sauce.

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