What's your go-to quick midweek meal? Mine often involves angel hair pasta, because it cooks in only 3 minutes. My other standby is shrimp, which also cooks almost as fast.
In this Pasta Pomodoro with Shrimp we are using both, and tossing them with quickly cooked fresh tomatoes (that's the "pomodoro" part), garlic, and basil.
You could use canned tomatoes, but if tomatoes are in season, and they are ripe and juicy, you can use them with hardly any extra time.
September is peak tomato season here in Sacramento, even more than August. Our tomatoes are all ripening at once, catching the last rays of sunshine before we slip into fall. They're sweet and ripe, perfect for using for a quick pasta dish like this one.
Fresh tomatoes do require peeling which you can easily accomplish by scoring them and blanching them in boiling water. Our trick for saving time? Since you're already boiling water for the pasta, you can use that water for a minute to blanch the tomatoes, before cooking the pasta.
Pasta Pomodoro with Shrimp
- 1/2 pound angel hair pasta
- 3/4 pound raw, peeled, deveined shrimp (medium sized)
- 4 medium ripe tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup torn fresh basil leaves
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided, 1 Tbsp and 2 Tbsp)
Blanch and peel the tomatoes
Fill a large pot with 2 quarts of water. Bring to a boil. (You will be using this water to both blanch the tomatoes and boil the pasta.)
Core the tomatoes and use a sharp knife to cut a small X into the bottom end of each tomato. When the water is boiling, use a slotted spoon to lower the tomatoes into the water.
Blanch for no more than one minute, just enough to loosen the skins. Remove tomatoes with a slotted spoon to a bowl of icy water, saving the blanching water.
Peel off the tomato skins from the tomatoes. Cut the tomatoes crosswise in half, and squeeze out most of the seeds and juices.
Chop the tomatoes into 1-inch pieces.
Sauté the shrimp
Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook for 1 minute. Turn the shrimp over in the pan. Lower the heat to medium.
Add garlic, tomatoes, basil
Add the garlic, cook a minute more. Add the chopped tomatoes and basil. Sprinkle with salt. Cook for a minute more and remove from heat.
Cook the angel hair pasta
Add a tablespoon of salt to the water you used to blanch the tomatoes. Bring to a boil again. Add the angel hair pasta and cook for 3 minutes.
Add cooked pasta to shrimp and tomatoes
Drain the pasta and immediately add to pot with the shrimp and tomatoes. Drizzle the pasta with 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Then stir the pasta in with the shrimp and tomatoes.
Serve immediately or at room temp.