Friday, November 22, 2013

Lemon Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp and Spinach

Lemon Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp and Spinach - made November 17, 2013 adapted from The Recipe Crayon Box
I did my first mass harvest of my lemon tree a short time ago. I think it was easier not to notice how many lemons were on it when the lemons were all green and blended cunningly with the equally green leaves.  Now that a number of them are turning yellow, it's more obvious that my one little dwarf lemon tree has a lot of lemons on it. I mean, a lot.  As in I clipped over a dozen lemons for the first harvest and it looked like I hadn't touched the tree at all. Eeek. Prepare for a lot of lemon recipes appearing on my blog for the next month or so.
Starting with this one.  Given the plethora of lemons my little tree is poised to grace me with, I don't know if I can make them all into desserts so might as well go for a savory dish or two.  This one had the added advantage of using spinach which I also needed to use up before it wilts on me. I subbed out shrimp for the chicken in the original recipe but you can use either or both.  I also thought I should add the spinach to the sauce while it bubbled to cook it down a bit.  That turned out to be unnecessary and if I make this again, I'd probably cut up the spinach and only add it at the last minute.  Actually, I will probably make this again because it turned out pretty well and I liked it even better than the Lemon Chicken Pasta I posted earlier..  The sauce is a bit thin which is good because I didn't want a thick or heavy cream sauce but it was the lemon that made it really tasty. There's just something about using really fresh lemons that adds to the taste; the tartness of the lemon juice paired very well with the garlic and the creamy cheesiness of the sauce. This has the added bonus of being easy to prepare so it's a great option for a quick weeknight meal.
1/2 lb angel hair pasta (I used brown rice noodles)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 cup or more of shrimp, peeled and deveined, raw or cooked
2 lemons, zested and juiced
3/4 cup half-and-half (I used 3/8 cup whole milk and 3/8 cup heavy cream)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup Parmesan, grated (or shredded)
1 cup baby spinach, stems removed
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Salt the water well, and add pasta. 
  2. Heat a large skillet over low heat. Add oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Cook until the oil sizzles and garlic is brown. Add lemon juice, half-and-half, and chicken broth to the garlic oil mixture. Raise the heat to med-low to med heat until the sauce begins to bubble.  If your shrimp is raw, you may add it now to cook while the sauce bubbles.
  3. Drain pasta and add it, the zest, and 1/2 cup Parmesan to the cream sauce. Toss for a minute or two. Add shrimp if you haven't already and the spinach, and toss until well distributed. Top with remaining cheese.

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