Angel Hair with Cherry Tomatoes and Shrimp

October 22, 2010

Angel Hair with Tomatoes and Shrimp

This may be my hands-down favorite quick-an-easy meal. It’s so good, in fact, that I often order it if it’s an option on a restaurant menu! There’s just something about the thin pieces of angel hair coated with garlic, olive oil, and tomatoes that gets me every time.

Recreating it at home is pretty easy, and can be done in a myriad of ways depending on what you have on hand. A must is having olive oil, angel hair (though it might be argued that you could use a thicker noodle), and garlic. To start, get your water going so it will be boiling when you need it (add a tablespoon of kosher salt once it begins boiling). Add a tablespoon or so of olive oil to a skillet over medium-low heat. Saute chopped garlic in the oil until it has released its flavors (I usually do two cloves for myself, but I love garlic).

This is where your options come in. You could add some red chili flakes to the oil to give this a spicy kick. If you want to make the version I have above, add chopped tomatoes to the oil and saute until they just begin to break down. This time, I used some black cherry tomatoes from my garden. Given that I usually have some frozen shrimp on hand, I tossed those in just after I started my noodles, so they would cook for about 3 minutes in the tomato sauce total. You should season accordingly – I use just sea salt with the shrimp and tomatoes version.

Once the shrimp are almost finished, and I’ve cooked the pasta al dente, I drain the pasta, reserving about 1/4 cup of the pasta water, and immediately add to the tomato-shrimp mixture and toss to coat, adding a little of the pasta water if needed to help coat the pasta. Plate and immediately serve. If you have some fresh basil on hand, add a bit of it on top. You can also add a bit of fresh-grated parmesan, depending on what you’ve added to the pasta (some people say not to add the parmesan with shrimp, but I love it, so I add it).

Dairy free alternative: Omit the parmesan cheese.

Vegetarian alternative: Do not add the shrimp; stick with tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and parmesan.

Vegan alternative: Do not add the shrimp or the parmesan; top with vegan parmesan if you wish.

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