It’s a little hard to write a cooking column when you don’t have a kitchen (mine has been in renovation for five months). But it’s even harder for someone like me, who loves to cook, to go without cooking very much.
So for Valentine’s Day, I borrowed a kitchen. Avocado toast (about all I can make right now) simply wasn’t cutting it. I made one of my favorite pasta dishes, which is what I can loosely describe as fancy comfort food.
This is kind of like shrimp scampi, but rather than tons of butter, I use pasta water and cheese to richen the flavor without making it too greasy. Most of the instructions to cooking this are easy, but you should branch out and cook the pasta the way I suggest. It makes the noodles incredibly flavorful. Make this next time you crave cooking and want to impress someone with something you can pull together pretty quickly. Also, if you use clarified butter, you don’t need to worry about it burning. Serve it with Persephone bread and some good wine.
- 1/3 cup clarified butter
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely diced
- 1 pound of linguini
- 1 pound of shrimp, cleaned and deveined
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 4 cups fresh spinach leaves
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- salt and a generous amount of black pepper, to taste
- 2 cups high quality grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat on the stove. Add the butter, shallot and garlic. Cook until wilted. Meanwhile cook the pasta in heavily salted water. When the pasta is about 2 minutes shy of done, turn off the heat and drain the pasta while reserving the pasta water. Add the shrimp to the pan with the butter. Shallot and garlic and cook until done. Add the lemon juice, white wine, spinach, seasonings and pasta, along with about a cup of the reserved pasta water. Stir well while the pasta finishes cooking. Keep adding small amounts of water and stirring the mixture well until the pasta is done (about 5 minutes). Turn off the heat and add half of the cheese. Top individual bowls of pasta with the extra cheese.
This column was originally published in the Jackson Hole News and Guide.