A delicious idea for a one pan meal….here is my SHRIMP WITH PENNE, TOMATOES AND BROCCOLI. Shrimp are sauteed with garlic and good olive oil, cherry or grape tomatoes, steamed broccoli and Vermouth, then tossed gently with Al Dente cooked PENNE RIGATE (the kind with the ridges). Christmas Eve is coming and instead of Visions of SugarPlums in my Head as the Christmas song goes, there’s visions of Italian Seafood. Can’t help it. December comes and i start thinking I’m smelling pine trees and shrimp and calamari and baccala’ frying!! The LA VIGILIA, or CHRISTMAS EVE Italian American feast, also called by some as the Feast of the Seven Fishes is an exuberant evening of once a year seafood dishes and then some ending at midnight with Sausage and Peppers for many. This dish i’m cooking here is a nice way to soberly celebrate Christmas Eve (or anytime you want to make this) without breaking the bank and cooking for 3 days. Garlic bread on the side and you’re in for a great meal. ProTip: I realize that not everyone has the same access to certain types of ingredients but if possible, look for US WILD CAUGHT SHRIMP. They are simply better than many overseas imported shrimp raised in dubious “farms” and often with additives which turn the shrimp “strange” when cooking. The label should only say “Shrimp, wild caught, US”. For this dish you’ll want 20-24 count as they will work well with the size of the Penne. OK, I’m rambling, let’s cook.
SHRIMP WITH PENNE, BROCCOLI, AND CHERRY TOMATOES
SERVES 4-5 TAKES ABOUT 1 1/2 HOURS
1 1/2 LBS 20-24 COUNT US WILD CAUGHT SHRIMP, PEELED AND DEVEINED
3/4 CUP GOOD OLIVE OIL (WHY GOOD? BECAUSE YOU WANT THAT FLAVOR)
3 CLOVES GARLIC, SLICED
1 1/2 PINTS SLICE CHERRY OR GRAPE TOMATOES
2 MEDIUM SIZED HEADS OF BROCCOLI, BROKEN INTO FLORETS AND STEAMED
1/2 CUP VERMOUTH OR OTHER FORTIFIED WINE
SEA SALT, PEPERONCINO TO TASTE
1 lb IMPORTED ITALIAN PENNE RIGATE
In a heavy pan or dutch oven heat 3 tbs of olive oil. Add the 1/2 the garlic and a pinch of peperoncino Add the shrimp, season with some salt and saute’ in batches if you need to just till they are pink on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon. Have a large pot of water get to boiling then salt the water. Cook the penne according to the package JUST until al dente.
When you’re done sauteeing the shrimp reserve them in a bowl or platter. Add more olive oil to the pan, the rest of the garlic, the tomatoes, season with salt and saute’ for 5 minutes, then add the broccoli. Cook for 5 more minutes and add the Vermouth. Let this boil up and then simmer for 5 minutes. Add the Penne to the pan, blend well, then add the shrimp and cook together for about 3 minutes. Season with more peperoncino and salt to taste if needed. Drizzle with more olive oil and let this sit for about 5 minutes then serve. HAPPY COOKING!!!