After a long morning walk through a quiet neighborhood I sit down in the shade of a gazebo to catch my breath. There’s a nice breeze sneaking in between my toes and tickling my feet. The honey bees are busy sucking away nectar while a couple of humming birds are hovering over the exotic Fuchsia flowers and making music with the rapid beats of their wings.
The view of the tall palm trees swaying in the wind is so intoxicating, I can almost smell the ocean and hear the waves crashing into the shore…
And every time the delightful smell of the ocean hits my senses, I’m thinking shrimp: coconut shrimp, garlic shrimp or grilled shrimp, they all do it for me.
Today tough, the spotlight will be on spaghetti and shrimp, a perfect summer meal, fresh, easy and fulfilling. Tomatoes are at their peek, there’s an abundance of fresh basil all around me and a couple of juicy lemons left in the lemon tree. And since garlic and olive oil are permanent residents at my house, all I really need to do is leave this little corner of paradise for the other corner of paradise which is my kitchen. The smell is just as intoxicating and the shrimp makes me feel even closer to the ocean.
- 1 lb wild caught shrimp(prawns)-peeled & deveined
- 1/2 lb spaghetti
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil + 2 garlic cloves-(smashed with the side of a chef’s knife )
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil+ 1 1/2 tbs butter
- 1/3c onion –diced
- 4 garlic cloves -minced
- 1/2 bell pepper(green or red) -thinly sliced
- 1/1/4 c (aprox 3/4 lb) cherry,vine ripened tomatoes -halved
- 1/4 tsp sea salt + more to taste
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper + more to taste
- 2 tbs lemon juice -freshly squeezed + more to taste
- the zest from 1 lemon
- 1/4 c pasta water
- one pinch red pepper flakes
- 8 basil leaves -thinly sliced
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to directions on the package.
2. Meanwhile season the shrip with 1/4 tsp of sea salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes and a couple of drops of lemon juice (keep cold).
3. In a large sauté pan heat up 2 tbs of the olive oil on medium flame. Add the 2 large garlic cloves and cook for 1 minute until golden just enough to release its flavors. Discard the garlic and add the shrimp and let cook until it turns pink and starts to curl (aprox 1 min). Transfer to a bowl, drizzle with 1/2 tsp lemon juice and keep warm.
4. Wipe off the pan and add 2 Tbs olive oil+ 1 Tbs butter to the pan, add the onions and sweat for about 5 min until translucent. Add the bell pepper slices and let cook until they start to soften(another 3-5 min). Add the minced garlic and let cook for another min until it releases its flavors (don’t let the garlic get any color) .
6. Add the cooked shrimp back to the sauce , stir to coat nicely then add the sliced basil, lemon juice & lemon zest. Give it a taste and adjust seasonings. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 tbs cold butter to finish up the sauce and make it silky.
Toss with the spaghetti and add the pasta water only if necessary. Decorate with a basil leaf and serve.