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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Scamper - Scampi: Recipe

Meredith's Food for Life
It's no surprise that on a Thursday night we're all racing around the house - the two older ones are home from their after school activities, the younger one comes home from daycare and the whole house is in chaos - homework, backpacks spilled open, little child running circles around everyone and then there's the dog. Oy.

The surprise, I suppose, is that most people would just pop something in the microwave and be done with it - but then, there's me. I am in the all-by-my-self-nutty-and-stupid category. Instead, I have to come up with something to make for dinner - regardless of the fact that I have several left-overs that can be made in 5 minutes or less. But to be fair, cooking and baking are the two things I can do to fill my, otherwise-void, creative outlet. I actually enjoy the challenge of "what can I make for dinner tonight?" I like to look in the fridge and figure out how to make something out of what looks like nothing to most people. My mother taught me that, really. Even when there is "nothing" in my house, I can still make 5 meals! And so, while it's utter mayhem in the house, and I walk in from a long day, I almost always crave the 20-30 minutes of time I take to make something appear on the table. I feel creative, I feel "motherly" and perhaps, more than anything else, I feel less guilt about being out of the house five days a week.

This was quick - Shrimp Scampi. So here's my suggestion - keep a frozen bag of uncooked shrimp in the freezer. Buy the largest ones - they really are the best. Buy the ones whose shells have been split down the backside. Run them under cold water for 5 minutes, being sure to move them around several times for even thawing, and they will be ready for your favorite recipe in no time. I thaw and peel them and throw them into whatever I am making. The longest piece of this recipe was the time it took for the water to boil.

Shrimp Scampi with Angel Hair
serves 8

3/4 lb. uncooked shrimp (see note above), thawed, peeled and drained
1 lb. angel hair, whole grain
6 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
1 medium zucchini, sliced very thin
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Juice of 2 lemons
salt and pepper

Boil a large pot of water for the pasta - add in the angel hair when the water is boiling and cook according the box directions - about 5 minutes.  As the pasta water is near ready to boil, heat one tablespoon of oil in a large saute pan until very hot. Add in the zucchini and saute until wilted - about 4-5 minutes.  Add in the shrimp and saute until they at least one side of them turn pink - add in a medium sized pinch of salt and several grindings of fresh pepper. Add in the tomatoes, garlic 1/4 cup of basil and 3/4 of the lemon juice. Allow the mixture to boil rapidly.

When the pasta is finished cooking, drain well and combine it with the sauce in a large serving bowl.  Add in the remaining basil, lemon juice and the olive oil.  Serve!

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