Simple Shrimp Pasta

Sometimes we shop for something specific, perhaps we have a certain recipe in mind, or we want to satisfy a craving. Sometimes we browse through the grocery store and let the food whisper to us, inspire us, much like we do at the farmers market. On this particular day, it was less inspiration than economization - one-pound bags of frozen jumbo shrimp were two-for-one, and at $14, that's a deal.

Shrimp in basket, we wandered back to produce. Coming off the holiday eating season, we thought we'd do something light, and ended up grabbing a small potted basil plant, a head of garlic and a pint of grape tomatoes. Those ingredients, with a few others we had at home, and we were set to enjoy a simple shrimp pasta. The fresh basil picked up the flavor in the basil olive oil and gave the dish a nice herby freshness that contrasted well with the spicy heat of the red pepper flakes and the tang of the garlic. This was a quick and easy, light and tasty weeknight dish. Best of all, we have another bag of shrimp in the freezer waiting for another new recipe.


1 pound jumbo or large shrimp, peeled
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
8-10 basil leaves, chiffonade
1/2 pint grape tomatoes (or more to taste)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons basil olive oil (regular olive oil would work fine)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt to taste
1/2 pound angel hair pasta

Mix the garlic, basil, tomatoes, lemon juice and olive oil in a bowl and allow the flavors to marry for at least 15 minutes. Boil water for the pasta and prepare it according to the package directions. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Put the tomato-basil-oil mixture in the skillet and add the shrimp to the skillet. Cook, tossing or stirring often, until the shrimp turn pink and the tails start to close in, about 4-5 minutes. Drain the pasta. Put the pasta in the skillet with the shrimp and toss well. Serve with basil garnish.

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