Wednesday, June 30, 2010

tuesday - pasta with shrimp, garlic scape pesto, and peas

Garlic scapes are new to me. My husband spied them at the farmers' market and we decided to give it a try. These lovely green corkscrews are the flower shoots from garlic bulbs and usually show up in the spring, but spring is especially prolonged in Portland this year, so we still have them. The scapes are kind of like garlic chives on steroids--fresh, garlicky taste with a nice crunch. I made pesto using Dorie Greenspan's recipe and tossed it with pasta, sugar peas, and a partial bag of frozen green peas that had been languishing in my freezer. Overall, a nice summer dish, and it would be equally good with basil pesto, I think.

I had planned on adding seared scallops, but I found domestic pink shrimp at the grocery this week so I got those. (Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch has a handy pocket guide on sustainable seafood that you can print out on their website and an iPhone app that I just downloaded but haven't tried yet. I've been using the Blue Ocean Institute's text option, which I love--text the name of the seafood you're considering, e.g., "shrimp", to 30644, and you'll get an immediate text detailing which species are good buys.)

Pasta with Shrimp, Garlic Scape Pesto, and Peas

8 oz. linguine
2 cups sugar peas, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup frozen green peas
1/4 cup garlic scape pesto or basil pesto
3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled
1/4 cup white wine
Salt and pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of water to boil, and add linguine. Boil for 6 minutes, then add the sugar peas and green peas. Cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes until pasta is al dente and peas are crisp-tender. Reserve 1/4 cup of cooking water, then drain pasta and return to pot. Stir in pesto and ricotta, adding a small amount of cooking water if needed to moisten the sauce.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook without stirring for 3 minutes. Turn shrimp and add white wine. Cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes until wine is mostly reduced and shrimp are pink and curled. Add shrimp to the pasta and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

We had a simple green salad with butter lettuce, cucumber, tomato, and goat cheese, tossed with a balsamic vinaigrette. Bottled dressings always seem to have an unpleasant taste, so I always make my own which is surprisingly easy and fast. I never measure, but here's an approximate recipe.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar (or other flavored vinegar such as red or white wine)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. Dijon mustard
Pinch of salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients in a small jar or whisk together in a small bowl. Adjust with more vinegar or olive oil, as needed.

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