In Spain, gambas al ajillo is a popular tapas offering, one that you almost never hear about Stateside. After all, it’s just garlic, shrimp, parsley and olive oil.
It’s so easy to make, you can with just the slightest embellishment, transform it into a pasta sauce. Just make sure that your ingredients are at the peak of freshness and you can’t go wrong.
Did I mention that this is totally doable in 15 minutes?
Fettucine with garlic shrimp and heirloom tomatoes
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1/2 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped coarsely
a pinch of salt
heirloom cherry tomatoes
freshly milled black pepper
a generous handful of parsley, chopped
fresh or dried pasta
Place shrimp in a shallow bowl. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and set aside for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions. If using fresh pasta, boil for two to three minutes or until al dente, then drain.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute, or until garlic takes on a little color. Add shrimp to the pan, then cook until shrimp turns a bright orange-pink, about 3 to 4 minutes. You can if you like, sear the shrimp a bit. Be sure to watch the pan closely, taking care not to let the shrimp burn.
About half way through, add the cherry tomatoes to the pan. Give the pan a good stir or two. You want to cook the tomatoes just enough to wilt the surface of their peel. If any of them begin to split, it’s time to remove the pan from heat. This is why, ideally, you should drop the tomatoes in while the shrimp finishes cooking.
Stir in the parsley. Taste for salt and pepper. Add cooked pasta to the skillet. Toss, ensuring that pasta is coated with the sauce, then serve immediately.
Time: 15 minutes, including prep.