Wish I could bottle this kind of goodness…Oh wait, THEY DID! My #fabin40 pasta is truly luxurious and FAST!Main Course / December 23, 2015
Since my love for cooking and baking has intensified, I find myself avoiding almost everything packaged. I am so intent on teaching myself to make an original dish, or use a technique I want to perfect, that grabbing anything with a lid doesn’t seem like a true food purchase.
But then of course I am wrong to think that way. Even on TV I see the educated and famous opening a can, or tearing open a package, or even reconstituting something. It appears, (and I’ve always believed this) that the only hard and fast rule is what you make simply has to taste the best it can be. But in addition, the cook must still have a modicum of energy remaining when she sits down to the table. So it stands to reason that bottled food not only insures a certain flavor, it makes it quick, which in turn means I have more time to tell silly jokes and drink awesome wine.
In this case, it was bottled pasta sauce for this recipe. And Trader Giotto’s is always a good bet. Here’s a set of tips so you can make this meal, be famous with your guests, and still have time to recline.
#1 – Don’t skimp on the shrimp – You may be tempted, in your embrace of the quick meal concept, to buy shrimp already cooked. Don’t do it. They’ll be rubbery, overcooked, and detract from your amazing-ness at curtain time. Buy the ones that have already had their shells removed, and the veins removed, with the tail still on. Makes prep super easy and preserves the integrity of the meal.
#2 – Use real cream – You can call your cardiologist in the morning. And seriously, if you show him the photos of dinner I think he will understand. The fat content in the heavy cream helps bind the sauce together, and is just the star of the show in terms of making a luxuriously flavored and feeling meal. Buy, use, repeat.
#3 – Don’t drain your pasta – Invest in a nice big scoopy-thing-spoon so you get the pasta and a little water as you ladle it into the sauce. In fact the pasta water will actually help your sauce cling. And it won’t be gummy either. Yeah, this is one of those secrets you cannot ignore. (Hey, do you know what its called? That’s seriously the set of words I Googled, and I GOT the photos I was looking for! Scary.)
#5 – Swirl when serving – Once you’ve combined everything and you’re ready to plate, use tongs to grab your pasta and kinda swirl it around as you set it on the plate. Keeps it in a nice, pretty stack and then you can add the right number of shrimp per serving and the extra sauce it might need. Don’t try to get everything in a spoonful. Do it in stages and swirling is a stage that dazzles.
#6 – Don’t pre-cook your shrimp – It’s tempting to think you have to allow a lot of time for the shrimp to cook. But seafood is different than other proteins. Whereas a piece of chicken may take 5-7 minutes, shrimp will cook in about 2 minutes, maybe 1 and a half minutes. Maybe less. Once you add it to the sauce, stir and then bring all to temperature again. After you get plates out and get ready to serve, you’ll notice that shrimp is done, nicely done. Just read my recipe for the exact direction on when and how to add those little pink gems.
In closing, you will see that I also made some very yummy cheese bruschetta. Just brush on lots of butter mixed with Romano cheese, broil, sprinkle with kosher salt and fight over them! (I mean serve.)