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Gulf Shrimp Make Great Italian Fare

This entry is part of a series, F4F 2011»

Pasta and Shrimp

Although shrimping in the Gulf of Mexico is on the decline (and has been for a while), plenty of shrimp are being caught this summer and brought to markets and restaurants throughout Texas. With the Deepwater Horizon disaster a fading memory and extraordinary efforts by governmental agencies, seafood from our coastal waters have been declared safe. (Not that everybody believes that; but still…)

Okay, so say it’s safe to go back into the water. To get shrimp, I mean. And say you lay your hands on a couple pounds of fresh Gulf shrimp, smelling nicely of the sea. What next?

Well, I’m glad you asked. Because the Elves in the Chile Underground’s Recipe Exploration, Testing Heuristics, Extended Bionomics Laboratory and Help Service, a.k.a. CURE THE BLaHS, has just the thing you need. (Well, not THAT thing, exactly. Something else.) Like a tasty, easy recipe. And for a large moderate small fee we’ll share it with you.

Actually, we’re so generous we’re giving it away. Today only. For FREE. Limited time offer. (Get yours now!) And here it is:

Get some fairly good-sized shrimp for this dish; mediums at least. Jumbos, though, maybe that’s too big. However, you can cook the shrimp on the grill if you’d prefer and simply add them at the end. That’s a nice option as long as grilling weather lasts. (It’s hot enough here today we don’t even need to turn the grill on; just put the shrimp on the barbie cover. Done. Sheesh.)

Farfalle Primavera

If you leave the chiles out you get a standard primavera-style dish, and that’s good too. Just not as exciting. Or so the Elves tell me; I can’t have shrimp. (Oh, I can have them, as long as I don’t mind a trip to the emergency room and an extended consult with the medicos. Followed by a rather stern discussion with my current trophy wife. That’s not the excitement I’m looking for.)

Can you use other vegetables? Sure. Asparagus (white or green), squash and more work just fine. (I’d say stay away from the starchy ones, though.) You may have to adjust the cooking time for a particular choice, or cook it separately and add at the end. Just be sure to get plenty of color and variety, for eye appeal and a range of flavors.

While we’re talking substitutions, almost any dried pasta works well for this dish. Something with lots of flat area, like bowties or shells or rotini; even hollow shapes like penne pasta will latch onto the cream sauce and deliver great flavor to your tastebuds.

This one’s for you, Andrew. I’d say thanks for setting up the machine to completely dislocate my shoulder in new and wondrously painful ways helping with the shoulder rehab, but first I’ve gotta learn how to make the chair let go of my arm…

Enjoy the (Big Shrimp, Big Flavor) Heat!

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