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Spring Orecchiette with Shrimp Recipe

May 09 2012 - 8:29 AM

OrechietteSeasonal pastas are often a challenge because we can get into a rut. That jar of tomato sauce just looks so tempting and familiar! I like to take inspiration from the restaurant dishes I love. I couldn’t stop thinking about the orecchiete at Balena. The orecchiete, or “little ear” in Italian, is just so adorable, and those nooks are the best vessel for a chunky sauce or vegetables.

It’s the perfect time of year for spring peas. Even if you only have access to frozen ones, throw some into this dish. The sauce is light and fresh, not to mention easy to make. And I’d definitely recommend using fish or shrimp to finish off the dish. You might even want to double this recipe.

Spring Orecchiette with Shrimp
Serves 2

About 8 oz. orecchiete pasta
15 large shrimp, tails removed
3/4 cup peas
1/2 large Haas avocado
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsbp olive oil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp minced parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Boil water for pasta, and then cook pasta for about 12 minutes. When you have a few minutes left, add in your peas. I used frozen (gasp!), but definitely use fresh if you can. Then drain the pasta and peas.
  2. Meanwhile, saute shrimp in a prepared pan until just done.
  3. In a separate bowl, mash your avocado, lemon juice and cheese. You can skip this step and combine everything with the pasta – this step will just make your sauce more uniform.
  4. Add the shrimp into the drained pasta and peas. Toss in the avocado-lemon-cheese mixture, adding in the olive oil as well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and top with parsley.

This dish is a healthy, refreshing take on a spring dinner, even with the creamy sauce. I would even recommend throwing in some just-cooked asparagus, maybe sun-dried tomatoes and then serving as a pasta salad.

–Marly Schuman