"True wine enthusiasts don’t collect wines.
They collect memories of wines shared with friends and family."

-Dario Zucconi

Monday, September 14, 2009



On Monday nights, dinner at our house is all about simplicity and speed, without compromising taste, of course. Here is an awesome Herb-Lemon Shrimp with Spaghetti and Arugula recipe that I made last night (My daughter's comment was "Yummy!").

This past weekend, Whole Foods had these fresh gulf shrimps on sale for about $7/lb.; regular price is $15/lb. Since my daughter loves shrimp, I picked some up. I added Arugula to the pasta because it has an earthy and peppery taste, which gives the dish richer flavor. Arugula is also rich in Vitamin C and Potassium (think bananas and oranges rolled up in a lettuce).

Last night, I used a Barefoot Pinot Griggio (I cooked with it and also had a glass of it with dinner). It is an inexpensive wine, but it pairs well with seafood and light pasta dishes. This wine is light-bodied, but packed with flavor. It tastes similar to fresh, tart green apples paired with delicious white peaches, with a hint of citrus. It also has an aroma of fresh floral blossom, which is so refreshing on the nose. Check it out some time. Safeway currently has it on sale for about $5.

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think. As with almost every dish I recommend, you should feel free to substitute any of the items for things you have on hand or that you like. For example, you can use frozen shrimp if you have some in the freezer. I'll try to suggest alternatives as much as I can.

  • 1 lb. of fresh large Shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cleaned
  • 1 Tablespoon of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon of fresh thyme, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 2 tablespoons of shallots (or 1/2 a cup of chopped red onions)
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon (use the zest too for extra flavor)
  • 4 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper (to flavor/taste)
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (to taste; you can leave out if you do not like peppers)
  • 1/2 Cup of cooked bacon (the bacon gives the dish extra flavor, but is not necessary]
  • 1 Cup of dry white wine
  • 1/2 Package of dry Spaghetti (feeds a family of 4, depending on how hungry everyone is)
  • 1/2 Cup of fresh grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 Package of pre-washed Arugula or spinach (substitute cooked peas or broccoli if want, but get some vegetables in there to round out the meal)

Marinade For Shrimp

  • Combine 1/2 of the crushed garlic, 1/2 of the chopped parsley, all the chopped thyme, 3 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, the lemon juice and zest, pepper flakes, salt & pepper to taste
  • Add shrimp to the herb mixture and mix well to coat the shrimp
  • Let the shrimp sit in the marinade for about 30 minutes if you can (in the meantime, you can help the kids with bath or homework, take a bath yourself, or fold a load of laundry)
Cooking Instructions:
  • Boil a large pot of water for the pasta
  • Add some salt to the boiling pasta water, add the pasta to the water and cook according to package and until your desired consistency

  • While the pasta is cooking, cook the shrimp without the marinade in a sauté pan over medium heat until they are pink
  • Remove the shrimp from the pan, place them in a bowl, and set them aside
  • Add remaining olive oil
  • Add shallots (or onions) and cook until softened (about 3 minutes)
  • Add remaining crushed garlic and cook (about 1 minute)
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Add the cooked Shrimp back into the pan
  • Add the bacon (if you are using some)
  • Add the wine
  • Simmer on low heat for about 4 minutes (until the wine cooks off a bit)
  • Add the cooked pasta (without the cooking water) directly into the pan of shrimp
  • Stir in the remaining chopped parsley
  • Stir in the arugula (or spinach)
  • Stir in the Parmesan cheese
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Serve with a glass of the white wine you used to cook (or your favorite red wine)
Until next time . . . Cheers!


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