Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fettuccine with Shrimp in a Tomato, Olive, and Feta Cream Sauce

I had a revelation this weekend... fresh pasta is SO. MUCH. BETTER. than the dried stuff.

During prime tomato season on the farm, I oven-dried a bunch of tomatoes with whole garlic cloves and thyme, then let them marinate in olive oil and fresh-from-my-herb-garden basil for about a week.  Oven-drying tomatoes isn't hard, it just heats up your kitchen and takes a couple hours.  Store-bought sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil would be a great substitute.

And this dish is super-fast.  I mean, seriously, it was ready in T-minus 20min.

1 pkg fresh fettuccine
1/2 lb shrimp
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C dried tomatoes (oil-packed), roughly chopped
3 tbsp oil-brined black/kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1/2 C greek yogurt
1/4 C crumbled feta cheese
3 tbsps chopped herbs, I used mint and basil from my herb garden
sprinkle of crushed red pepper, optional
These are, of course, estimates in measuring... use your eyes and tastebuds as a guide.

1) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2) Melt butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add shrimp and cook until just barely done (2min per side?).  Remove shrimp and put to the side.
3) Add the garlic and tomatoes (with oil) and optional red pepper to the previously shrimp-y pan and heat through over med/med-low heat. 
4)  When that's all nice, warm, aromatic and incorporated, add the yogurt and olives.  Let this simmer on a low burner while you cook the pasta. And that's the great thing about fresh pasta, it only takes 3-4min MAX.
5) When the pasta is al dente, add it to the sauce skillet with ~1/4C starchy pasta liquid.  
6) Add the shrimp and 2 tbsps chopped herbs.
7) Stir, mix, smell.  It should come together into something magical.
8) Top with crumbled feta.  Give it one more mix and serve, sprinkled the the remaining tbsp of mint/basil.

This dinner turned out better than I could have ever expected considering I made it up on the fly with ingredients sitting around in my fridge.  I hope you find time to try some fresh pasta, it really does make a dramatic difference.

Look how GREAT my mint and basil is doing!!

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