Saturday, December 11, 2010

Shrimp and Veggies in a White Wine Sauce with Angel Hair Pasta

After an amazing dinner out with a friend at Les Deux Canards (which far surpassed their cheesy website: with its garlic and parsley mushrooms, whole "sepia" - squid, flavorful duck in rich sauces, and... orange wine!), I decided to cook the next evening. I went to the local market (Marche Saint Quentin) to pick up some fresh vegetables (from my favorite stall, which seems to be the only one who doesn't hand me the least fresh vegetables from the bottom of the barrel!) and some crevettes. My vegetable purchase of mushrooms and zucchini totaled at just about 1 Euro 50 centimes, but the meal quickly became expensive when I sought fresh shrimp. Apparently cooked shrimp is pretty reasonably priced, but a large handful of raw shrimp ended up being over 16 Euros! I bought them anyway, and was hoping for an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime shrimp experience, but it seems that in the end, what I was paying for was less freshness or flavor than the weight of their heads since they come whole! I wish I could say that they were the best, most delicious shrimp I've ever tasted, but, in the end, they were just fine. Next time I'm having a shrimp craving, I will hit up the Picard (for frozen raw shrimp). 

Here's what I made:

Shrimp and Veggies in a White Wine Sauce with Angel Hair Pasta:


a few handfuls of cappellini pasta
1 large onion, chopped finely
1 large zucchini, chopped into rounds or bite-sized pieces
1 lb fresh mushrooms (this time I used champignons de Paris)
1 lb fresh shrimp
1 package lardons (if you like or having them sitting around in your fridge)
1 tbl olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smushed and chopped
1 1/2 cup white wine
1 tsp herbs de Provence
1/2 cup freshly grated parmeasan cheese
salt and pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbl white flour or cornstarch

1. Boil water for pasta.
2. Heat olive oil in frying pan and saute garlic and onion until soft.
3. Add zucchini and mushrooms with herbs de Provence and cook through. Add a few tablespoons of white wine several times during the cooking process. When almost finished, add lardons if using.
4. At the same time, in a separate frying pan, reserve a small bit of olive oil and garlic, and then cook the shrimp with the cayenne pepper. After about halfway cooked, add a few tablespoons of white wine. Make sure not to overcook the shrimp - they should be pink/red, but not start to curl up too much; once they start to curl, take them out or they will end up too tough.
5. As both the vegetable mixture and shrimp near completion, add cappellini pasta to boiling water, and let boil for three minutes before draining. 
6. Add the cooked shrimp with its sauce to the vegetable mixture, and add the rest of the wine to the pan.
7. In a small glass, dissolve flour or cornstarch into a cup of water (I prefer cornstarch but don't have any at the moment, so just used flour). Add mixture to the pan with vegetables and shrimp and increase the burner heat to boil and thicken the sauce.
8. Serve over pasta, with freshly grated parmaesan cheese. 

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