You know what’s wonderful? When you cook a mouthwateringly awesome special occasion meal only to find out it’s plenty easy enough to cook on a regular ol’ weeknight. That, my friends, is wonderful. Am I right?
Long, thin strands of angel hair pasta with juicy shrimp and a silky smooth red pepper cream sauce sounds and tastes like a delectable treat to be enjoyed on holidays, birthdays, and at fancy dinner parties–and it can be. This meal is definitely company worthy. But it’s also crave worthy and uber simple to prepare. It’s ready, from start to finish, in as much time as it takes to cook the pasta and stir everything together. How’s that for a winner?
So go ahead, whip up this pasta and celebrate a promotion, good grades, or the season finale of your favorite show. Heck, celebrate Thursday if you want to. Just celebrate. You deserve it.
Angel Hair with Shrimp and Red Pepper Cream Sauce
adapted from Southern Living
1 lb. dried angel hair (vermicelli)
1 (12-oz.) jar fire-roasted red peppers, drained
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened (I used reduced fat)
1/2 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. whole milk
2 TBSP sweet vermouth (optional, but really yummy)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
a few dashes hot sauce, such as Texas Pete’s (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 lbs. cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 c. chopped basil, plus more for garnish
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 c. pasta water.
2. Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing peppers, cream cheese, broth, milk, vermouth, garlic, red pepper flakes, and hot sauce in a food processor. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings.
3. When pasta is cooked and drained, return to pot, turn stove to medium-low, and stir together with sauce and shrimp. Add some or all of pasta water to bring sauce to desired consistency. Cook until all elements are heated through, about 3 minutes. Stir in chopped basil and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
4. Serve family style in a very large pasta bowl or dish into individual bowls. Garnish with additional basil, if desired.
Yield: 6-8 servings