1/2 lb of frozen, tail on shrimp
12 oz. penne pasta
1/2 C. + 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 Tbs. fresh Italian parsley, minced
2 Tbs. kosher salt
1 Tbs. fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp. of red pepper flakes
4 Tbs. fresh grated Parmesan, for garnish
Fill a stainless steel pot about 1/2 to 3/4 full of water. Add 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Place over medium-high heat and let water boil. As the water begins to boil, zest your lemon. Stir the zest into the EVOO and let the lemon infuse the oil.
Now heat your skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is warm, pour in a tablespoon of olive oil. Heat the olive oil until it begins to smoke slightly. Toss in the garlic, shallots and a pinch of salt. Stir the garlic and shallots with your wooden spoon as the aromatics saute.
When your water is boiling, add the pasta. Let the water return to a boil. Penne generally takes about 7-9 minutes to cook through. You know it is done when the pasta is soft, but still firm to the bite. The key to a good pasta is to stir the pot occasionally. When the pasta is done, drain and set aside.
Once the garlic is golden and the shallots are soft (about 5-7 minutes) add the frozen shrimp. Let the shrimp cook first on one side. Then turn the shrimp to cook on the other side. You can also use fresh shrimp, or thawed frozen shrimp. Make sure the shrimp has been deveined.
When the shrimp is cooked through–it should be pink on both sides and white in the middle–add the pasta. Cut the lemon in half width-wise and squeeze one half over the pasta. Pour on the lemon zest and olive oil mixture. Toss in the parsley, pepper and red pepper flakes. Gently stir everything together until it is well mixed.
Serve and top with a healthy pinch of Parmesan. We enjoyed the shrimp penne with strawberry and grape infused vodka Lime Rickey’s. I hope you enjoy this Giada inspired recipe as much as we did!