Most of the time I have a plan for dinner… most of the time. Sometimes I have an idea, but not exactly a plan. And that can go one of two ways. Sometimes, it’s a flop. A last minute effort to throw something together and it just doesn’t work. And sometimes, the husband says it’s one of the best shrimp dishes I’ve ever made – even better than my seafood scampi. (And this was on a Wednesday. Had I known he’d like it so much, I would’ve saved it for Saturday! Ha!)
This one was inspired by these beautiful asparagus. They were tucked in my CSA this week and oh man were they pretty! So I didn’t want to bury them with a lot of sauce or other ingredients. I decided on pasta and shrimp. I scanned some recipes but didn’t like anything – they had too much cream and cheese and other things that would cover up these fresh asparagus. I decided on s simple white wine garlic-butter. Really light clean flavors that let the asparagus and shrimp be the stars of the meal.
I made the sauce ahead and kept it at room temperature on the back of the stove so it didn’t break. Jeff grilled the shrimp, basting them with a little of the sauce. “There’s no better smell than shrimp and butter,” he said. Meanwhile, I cooked the pasta and threw the asparagus in the same pot for the last minute (yay! one pot!). Tossed it with the rest of the sauce and a little Parm and dinner was served. Kid friendly? Kind of. Eclair loved the pasta and shrimp while Nutmeg loved the pasta and asparagus. In my house, that’s a win. And no one cried. Bonus!
- ½ cup white wine
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp. champagne or white wine vinegar
- 6 Tbsp. cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1 Tbsp. pieces
- 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 10 oz. dried pasta, such as gemelli
- ½ lb fresh asparagus, cut into 1½-inch pieces
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- To make the sauce, combine the wine, garlic and vinegar in a small pan and bring to a boil. Boil until reduced to about ¼ cup.
- Remove from heat and whisk in the butter, one tablespoon at a time, so that it forms a thick sauce. Season to taste with salt. Pour about ¼ of the sauce into a small dish (this is for the shrimp).
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. (Set the sauce near the pasta pot so it stays warm but doesn't break)
- Thread the shrimp onto skewers and heat a grill over high heat. Baste with some of the sauce.
- Cook pasta according to package directions (usually about 10 minutes.) When 1 minute remains, add the asparagus.
- While the pasta cooks, grill the shrimp, about 3 minutes per side, depending on the size of the shrimp. Baste with the reserved sauce as you go.
- Drain the pasta and asparagus and put in a large bowl. Toss with the remaining sauce. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and the grilled shrimp.