March 05, 2009

Shrimp, Artichoke and Mushroom Pasta


3 shallots, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound peeled shrimp
6 oz defrosted frozen artichoke hearts
6 oz sliced crimini mushrooms
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons cream
2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon capers
juice of one lemon
zest of one lemon

to serve: 10 oz hot pasta (I used large ring "calamari" pasta)

In a large skillet, heat the oil, then add the shallots, artichoke hearts, red pepper flakes, mushrooms and garlic and saute about 5 minutes or until fragrant. Add shrimp and cook for about 3 minutes or until just starting to pink. Pour in the wine, lemon juice, zest, salt, pepper, and capers. Heat to boiling then reduce heat and cook for an additional 3 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and the shrimp is cooked through. Stir in cream. Toss with pasta and parsley.

My thoughts:
This a great dish for early March when you might be suffering from some cold weather food fatigue and want to make something more spring-like. Of course, if you live in the mid-Atlantic like I do, virtually nothing is in season right now. So you have to make do with ingredients that taste fresh, even if they aren't exactly in season. Shrimp, frozen artichoke hearts and a bit of lemon juice to perk up the flavors make for a light tasting but satisfying meal without having to use tasteless, out of season spring produce.