05 January 2006


Need a quick meal for a weeknight?

(I've made this without the pasta for many a quick protein and vegetable fix)

You'll need:
- pasta
- shrimp
- red or green pepper
- peas or snow peas
- parmesan cheese
- olive oil
- dill, fresh or dried
- black pepper to taste

Throw some spaghetti, spaghettini, or fettucine in a pot of boiling water. Points if you use multi-grain or whole wheat pasta.

Heat a little olive oil (1 or 2 TBSP) in a good thick frying or saute pan over medium heat.

Chop up a green or red pepper (reds are sweeter, so I like them best for this) and throw it in the pan. Toss once to lightly coat in the oil.

Now, grab some fresh or frozen shrimp (let's say about 10-12 per person, unless you've got massive shrimp!). If you want to take the tails off, go for it. Just work fast. Throw the shrimp in the pan with that pepper. Give a quick toss. Grind a little black pepper over this.

Press or very finely dice two cloves of garlic. Throw them in the pan, toss again.

Measure out about 1/2 cup of frozen peas per person that you're feeding. If you hate peas, you could use snow peas instead. Toss in the pan with everything else, toss around, let cook for about 4 minutes.

Drain your pasta. Toss it in the frying pan with everything else, and add about a tablespoon of olive oil (err on the side of caution). Drop in about 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese (you have that in the fridge at all times, right?!). Add about 1 tablespoon of dill. Mix it up.

Grind black pepper over the lot, and serve. Garnish with some parmesan or sprigs of fresh dill. I don't add salt to this recipe because the shrimp and cheese are fairly high in sodium, but go for it if you wish - or if you're using freshly grated parmesan cheese (as well you should, you chef, you!).

Time from start to finish? About 15 minutes, if you got the water to boil quickly.

Definitely a white wine dish. I'd pair it with a New World sauvignon blanc, or maybe a not-too-dry Chilean chardonnay.

Possible add ins or add ons:
Broccoli (chop ahead of time, add when adding shrimp to allow enough time to cook)
Diced fresh tomatoes (add as peas)
Romano cheese (instead of parmesan)
Red pepper flakes

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