Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Garlic Shrimp Pasta

Sometime this year, we started tracking our expenses in, a free web-based personal finance software. To track and know our spending is a rude awakening to me, our family's (2 + 1 dog) monthly food expense is a lot higher than family of 5. We went to coffee houses frequently, ate out probably 75% of the time, and fluffy got expensive treats. So in an afford to reduce our monthly food cost, I have been making a concerted effort to cook when I am home. Buying and freezing meat when they are on sale, making big portions, freezing leftovers, and encouraging Mr. to bring leftovers or frozen box meals for lunch instead of going to the cafeteria.

Although we are still spending more than most family our size, I think, we are making big progress in reducing our food cost, about 40% reduction. I don't know if we can to cut our food and dinning expenditure to the average level where similar households are at, as we like our snacks and I am also oppose to consuming too much cheap and processed food. Well, if we have to, we can cut our portions, buy cheaper cut of meat, add more carbs and beans, but I want to enjoy our shrimps, rib-eye, and cinnamuffins, for now.

This is a quick and easy meal to make on a weekday, I whipped this up in less than an hour. The beauty of this meal is, I have everything in my fridge and pantry. It is simple to make and yet packs in a lot of flavor from the garlic, the seafood broth I made, and shrimp that's not overcooked. I added tomatoes because I think the acidity adds to this dish and like to fruits and veggies. I will add frozen broccoli and reduce some pasta, to increase my dietary fiber and vitamins intake.

Serves 4.

Marinate the shrimp while you prepare the remaining ingredients.


5 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 5 teaspoons)
4 medium cloves, smashed
1 pound large shrimp (21-25), peeled, deveined, each shrimp cut into 3 pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound pasta in short, tubular shapes, such as fusilli, campanelle, or mezze rigatoni
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup clam juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice plus 1 lemon, cut into wedges
table salt
ground black pepper

  1. Toss 2 teaspoons minced garlic, shrimp, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Let shrimp marinate at room temperature 20 minutes.

  2. Heat 4 smashed garlic cloves and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until garlic is light golden brown, 4 to 7 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and use slotted spoon to remove garlic from skillet; discard garlic. Set skillet aside.

  3. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta. Cook until just al dente, then drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water, and transfer pasta back to Dutch oven.

  4. While pasta cooks, return skillet with oil to medium heat; add shrimp with marinade to skillet in single layer. Cook shrimp, undisturbed, until oil starts to bubble gently, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir shrimp and continue to cook until almost cooked through, about 1 minute longer. Using slotted spoon, transfer shrimp to medium bowl. Add remaining 3 teaspoons minced garlic and pepper flakes to skillet and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute; stir in vermouth and cook for 1 minute. Add clam juice and parsley; cook until mixture starts to thicken, 1 to 2 minutes. Off heat, whisk in butter and lemon juice. Add shrimp and sauce to pasta, adding reserved cooking water if sauce is too thick. Season with black pepper. Serve, passing lemon wedges separately.

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