Growing up, my dad used to make linguine with shrimp and clams, especially during the summers we went to Cape Cod. It was the only seafood dish my mother would willingly eat – everything else was too “fishy” for her, which I really didn’t understand because I think clam juice (used to make the sauce for the linguine) has a pretty fishy taste.
I wanted to do a spin on this dish, minus the clams, and add some fresh tomatoes and basil. Shrimp is extremely versatile and similar to chicken, in that it takes on the taste of whatever sauce you put it in. That being said, you want to keep things light. This recipe has only a touch of cream, because I learned that fish and dairy don’t marry very well in heavy sauces (think melted cheese and fish, ick).
I found this recipe on Food & Wine, which has some of my favorite food photography. This was another dish where I was lucky enough to entice my friend Sarah to shoot it. There are a few tweaks from the original recipe, but overall I’d recommend it for an easy dinner party dish.
I’d say this serves four, but you could always add/subtract pasta and shrimp to change up the portion.
Linguine with Shrimp, Tomatoes & Basil
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 tablespoon torn basil, plus a few extra leaves for garnish
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 white onion, chopped
- 3/4 linguini (or angel hair pasta, spaghetti, or whatever you have on hand)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 16-20 large shrimp, shelled and deveined (I buy them from the store like this)
- juice and zest from 1 lemon
- Heat a large pot of boiling water and cook the linguine until al dente. Drain and reserve.
- Heat your tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet (one with sides works well). When the oil is hot, add the garlic and onion. Sautee for 2-3 minutes or until the ingredients are fragrant – just before the garlic is about to brown.
- Add the shrimp and toss. Season with salt and pepper, and cook on both sides for about 2 minutes each.
- Add the cherry tomatoes and lemon zest, and toss. Cook 3 minutes more, and then add the cream. Heat for about 3 minutes, until the cream is simmering slightly and has thickened.
- Finally, add the cooked pasta, lemon juice, and tablespoon of torn basil (you can tear or cut it into ribbons for a nice effect). Toss everything together. Service with additional lemon wedges and basil leaves for garnish.