Spaghetti and Shrimp

I think spaghetti will always be my most-favorite type of pasta.

Growing up, ‘pasta’ didn’t exist. It was spaghetti, elbow macaroni, lasagne noodles, or wide egg noodles. That was pretty much it. By the time I was 16 and was working at Pirro’s, my repertoire expanded to rigatoni and mostaccioli. A far cry from the scores of pasta shapes available, today, at just about any grocery store.

Pirro’s – where Barry, the owner – bought 3′ long spaghetti noodles. They were awesome. About a third of the noodles in the boxes were still looped – which meant they were actually six-foot long strands! Really awesome. They’re definitely something I wish I could find locally – and reasonably priced.

For all of the different pastas we buy – and the cupboard shows more than a few – spaghetti is still the favorite. There’s just something about those long noodles that makes my stomach smile.

Tonight, my stomach smiled a lot – spaghetti and shrimp, with artichokes, cream cheese, and lemon thrown in for good measure. It was one of those throw-together dinners that was ready in the time it took to boil the water and cook the noodles.

First thing I did was set the water on to boil.

Then, it was chop a small onion and mince 2 cloves or garlic. they went into a skillet with a pat of butter and a drizzle of olive oil. The two mixed together really makes for a creamy and flavorful sauce.

I added about a half-cup of white wine to the pan and dropped in about 8 ounces of frozen artichoke hearts. The wine cooked down and I added a cup of clam juice. I cooked it down a bit and then added 2 ounces of cream cheese and the zest of one lemon.

Meanwhile, I cooked the spaghetti.

A couple of minutes before the spaghetti was done, I stirred in the shrimp and let it cook. Shrimp done, spaghetti done, I stirred the drained spaghetti into the skillet, tossed in some chopped parsley, and a bit of salt & pepper.

Dinner was served in under 30 minutes.

The flavors all played well, together. Lemony, creamy, a bit of wine and fish stock… and the shrimp was perfectly tender.

We’ll have to see this one again, one of these days… And maybe I’ll find those noodles!