I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season so far. Things have been good here in Texas even though it’s been unseasonable warm. All I want is just a foot or two of snow… That’s not too much to ask for is it? I can’t sing about Frosty the Snow Man, while dreaming of a white Christmas when it’s 70 degrees out.
Although work has finally slowed down personally I’ve been crazy busy the past 2 weeks. I’ve been decking the halls….
I might not be able to have snow…. But my little Christmas village can!!
Trimming the tree….
Doing a little Christmas baking….. Homemade Soft Gingerbread cookies are perfect with that morning cup of coffee. (recipe coming soon)
And trying to get all of my Christmas shopping done.
As a kid you really don’t think about all the work that goes into making Christmas happen. Looking back I really appreciate all of the little things my parents did (and still do) to make sure every Christmas was / is magical.
Yesterday alone I spent 6 hours hanging Christmas lights in my front yard.
I know my neighbors must have been laughing at me teetering atop a 10ft ladder to hang light in my trees. Oh well…. I’m 5’2 so I’m use to having to climb on things to reach basically everything. All and all I think I’ve finally got the house all ready for Christmas.
Now all that’s left to do is the wrapping… I wish I had a talent for making my own Christmas bows. Anyone out there have any tips?
With all this work we put into making Christmas happen sometimes the last thing we want to do is come home and cook. I also know the LAST thing I want to do this time of year is go to the grocery store after I’ve been out shopping or teetering atop a ladder all day… I try to keep well-stocked freezer and pantry so when I need to whip up dinner in a flash it takes very little effort.
One of my favorite go to meals when there isn’t much time to cook is this spicy shrimp scampi pasta. This spicy, light and flavorful pasta dish cooks in about the time it takes to boil the water for the pasta, and it uses ingredients most of us always have on hand. Which makes this dish the perfect meal after a day of shopping or for the unexpected dinner guest we always seem to have this time of year.
Hope y’all enjoy!!!
Spicy Shrimp Scampi Pasta
The Spicy Shrimp Marinade:
1 Pound Extra Large Shrimp (26/30) Peeled and Deveined
1 Lemon, the zest and juice
¼ Teaspoon smoked paprika
1-2 Cloves of Garlic, grated
1 Teaspoon Flat Leaf Parsley, minced
1 Pinch Oregano
2 Pinches of Red Pepper Flakes (or to taste)
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Black Pepper to taste
Combine all of the above ingredients in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid or in a zip top bag. Let the ingredients marinate for 10-15 minutes while you prep the ingredients for the sauce. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Next the sauce:
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon of Butter
1 Shallot or Small Onion, minced
1-2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
¼ Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (or to taste)
2 Tablespoons Flat Leaf Parsley, minced
1 Pinch of Oregano
1 Cup of White Wine
1 Lemon, the juice and zest
1 Pound of Pasta
1 Cup of Pasta Water
Heat a large skillet over medium heat with the extra virgin olive oil. Remove the shrimp from the marinade and add them in to the skillet. Cook until the shrimp just turn pink, then remove from the skillet and set to the side. Add the tablespoon of butter to the skillet along with the onion, garlic, red pepper, oregano, ½ the parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to medium low and cook unit the onion is tender.
Add the pasta to the salted boiling water and cook just below the al dente stage. Don’t worry the pasta will finish cooking in the sauce.
Add the lemon zest along with 1 cup of room temperature white wine to the skillet and reduce by half. Add the al dente pasta to the skillet along with 1 cup of the reserved pasta water and the juice from the zested lemon. Toss everything to combine. The pasta is going to finish cooking in the skillet and will absorb most of the liquid from the sauce. (If you are not opposed to breaking culinary rules…. Grate about ¼ cup of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese over the hot pasta.) Add in the shrimp and the remaining parsley then toss to combine. Serve this dish in a large serving bowl and drizzle with a little good quality extra virgin olive oil at the very end.