Over two weeks have passed since I’ve written a blog post. I’d like to say we’e been on the beaches of some exotic island for Spring break, but the truth is it’s been a very busy time at work and if you can imagine, we’ve been eating out a lot. Odd behavior for us. We’ve also been totally obsessed with March Madness and the television series Breaking Bad. We’ve just started renting the seasons and like a good book, can’t put it down. Cooking has consisted of using things from the freezer that have been too peculiar to blog.
I’ll get back in the swing of things with this easy little pasta dish. Angel hair pasta tossed with gremolata and and made luscious and creamy with creme fraiche. It’s an easy and satisfying dishes. Back in the day, BWF (before Whole Foods), when I couldn’t find creme fraiche, I made my own. It’s really just soured cream, but not as sour as sour cream, easy to make with cream and buttermilk, but when you don’t have 24 hours to let it culture, I welcome the container I can grab at the market. You’ll find the pasta recipe below, but first, let’s drink a little wine.
Last night we had a bottle of Vietti’s Barbera d’ Asti Tre Vigne 2012. We occasionally have either Michele Chiarlo’s Superiore Le Orme or this Vietti from Italy’s Piedmont. Both are relatively inexpensive and seem to go really well with most food. When we first had the Vietti a few months ago we were thoroughly smitten. Bob even went so far as to “predict” its inclusion in the 2014 Wine Spectator magazine Top 100. That’s the first, and I’m sure the last time that he’ll be right about something so important as a wine top 100 list. It came in at Number 76 and we, of course, have been telling anyone who’ll listen that Bob saw it coming.
- For the gremolata:
- 1 cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- Zest of 1 lemon
- For the Pasta:
- ½ pound angel hair pasta
- ½ cup crème fraîche
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for garnish
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
- ½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Flat-leaf parsley leaves for garnish
- For the shrimp:
- 12 large shrimp
- 3 stalks parsley
- the lemon halves that you've used to juice and zest
Make the gremolata: In a small bowl, combine the parsley with the garlic and lemon zest. Using with a spoon, mix until just combined and set aside.
Juice the lemon into a large bowl and set aside.
Peel, devein, remove tails and butterfly the shrimp. In a sauce pan with water, add a few leaves of parsley the lemon that you've used to zest and juice, Let this mixture boil for 5 minutes and then add the shrimp and cook until done. Remove shrimp to a plate and set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to the package instructions or about 4 minutes.
In the large bowl with the lemon juice, whisk the crème fraîche with the olive oil until combined. Add the Parmesan, red-pepper flakes and reserved gremolata; mix until combined.
When the pasta is cooked, use tongs to transfer it directly to the bowl with the sauce. Toss the pasta with the sauce and coat the noodles evenly, adding pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time to thin the sauce if needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl or divide among individual plates. Add the shrimp and garnish with additional Parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil and the whole parsley leaves. Serve immediately.
Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp, Creme Fraiche and Gremolata…It’s what’s for Dinner.