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Linguine with Shrimp and Lemon Oil

July 21, 2010

When work gets really crazy, I have a hard time mustering the energy to come up with a creative and delicious menu after a long day of work. Most often during times of busyness, our dinner menu consists of a pretty basic dinner–something easy like chicken, rice, and salad; or something even easier such as ordering pizza from down the street. However, a couple weeks ago, instead of running to my freezer to defrost the chicken or grabbing a pizza menu, I opted to look online for something simple and easy. I’m glad I did, because I found a delightful and fresh recipe from Giada De Laurentiis. The shrimp combined with the pasta was just enough to fill both of us, and the arugula and lemon oil provided the freshness to the dish. We really liked the simplicity and freshness of the dish, but I think next time I make it, I might substitute basil for the arugula, since I prefer the taste of basil to arugula.

Linguine with Shrimp and Lemon Oil

Courtesy Giada De Laurentiis (Food Network)

Ingredients:

For lemon oil:

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 lemon, zested

For pasta:

1 pound linguine pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 shallots, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

16 ounces frozen shrimp

1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

1 lemon, zested

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 ounces arugula (about 3 packed cups)

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

For the lemon oil:

Combine the olive oil and the lemon zest in a small bowl and reserve.

For the pasta:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, in a large, heavy skillet warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until pink, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked linguine, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine. Turn off the heat and add the arugula. Using a mesh sieve, strain the lemon zest out of the reserved lemon olive oil and add the oil to the pasta. The zest can be discarded. Add some of the cooking water to desired consistency. Add the chopped parsley to the pasta and toss to combine. Serve immediately and enjoy.

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