Since it is really Spring it just makes you want to lighten up the menu a bit and my mind immediately goes to asparagus! This recipe is a variation on my Summertime Tomato Pasta. I wanted to use some of those beautiful asparagus out there. Even though I knew Joel would pick them out , I still made this dish. The asparagus are large enough for him to easily pick out and put on my plate. This dish is light and delicious and pretty quick to prepare. It is like springtime in a bowl! There are so very many things to do with asparagus but this just appealed to me and if you leave the shrimp out you have a lovely vegetarian pasta dish and if you leave the pasta out you have a super light dish! I used the shrimp. I also used linguine in this recipe because it just seems to hold on to the flavors nicely. Happy Spring and Enjoy.
1 lb. box linguine ( I used Fini Linguine , it was lighter than regular linguine and was just perfect)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 pint size containers of little grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, or any small tomato ( app. 16-20 oz. of tomatoes) I cut tomatoes in 1/2.
freshly ground black pepper
* crushed red pepper ( we like the heat) use your own discretion depending on how you like it, totally optional
3 large cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1/2 cup dry white wine ( I use whatever I have open)
1 lb. Asparagus , trimmed, stalks cut on a diagonal into app. 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
fresh basil chopped ( app. 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Cook the pasta according to box directions.( Fini Linguine cooks in 6 minutes perfectly) scoop out a little pasta water after cooking about 1/2 cup to 1 cup and keep it handy if pasta is too dry, you can add water to it a little bit at a time.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the tomatoes, app. 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and app. 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are soft , it takes at least 5 minutes . You want the tomatoes to start to burst so they make a delicious sauce. Add the crushed red pepper and garlic. Cook for another few minutes ( don’t burn the garlic)keep on low heat and stir around. Add the wine and the asparagus. Bring to a low boil and simmer for at least 5 minutes . Taste for Salt and Pepper, if it needs more this is when I would add it, and I did. I added a bit more salt here, pepper was fine. You need to use your own discretion about the salt .
Sprinkle shrimp in a bowl with a little salt and pepper. Add the shrimp to the pan and continue to simmer until the shrimp is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Shrimp needs to be firm to the touch, and opaque if cut into. Stir in the chopped basil and the oregano.
Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss well to combine. You can always add more crushed red pepper when finished.
This was really delicious and light. Joel of course picked out every piece of asparagus, and put them in my bowl. That was fine with me because I love asparagus.
*this dish will easily serve 4, if you like you can always add another 1/2 lb. of shrimp for 4 people.