For those of you who are intimidated by long ingredient lists (you know who you are), Five Ingredient Friday kicks off today with a simple, yet delicious, shrimp and pesto pasta. But first, let me tell you about Five Ingredient Friday.
This concept came to be because I had people tell me that, while they thought my recipes looked delicious, they would never cook them because of the long ingredient lists. Somehow, that indicated to them a level of difficulty in preparation, or they didn’t keep a lot of herbs in their spice rack, or they didn’t feel like they had the time to measure a large variety of ingredients to prepare a dish. With Five Ingredient Friday, I hope to show you that you can make wonderful and flavorful foods using the “less is more” philosophy of cooking.
There may be times that I use only four ingredients; there may be times I use more than five. Don’t sue me. I am committing to keep these recipes as simple as possible and at five ingredients, if at all possible. That said, there will be some items that “don’t count” in the five ingredients. This may be cheating, but since I’m making the “rules” I get to cheat. *wink*
The items I won’t count will be: salt and/or pepper, any fat (such as olive oil, canola oil, butter, etc), any cooking spray, water, or multiples of an item (for instance, 3 lemons doesn’t count as 3 items in the total count). Also…I decided that any optional garnish won’t count either, since in this photo I would have loved to have added a basil leaf or some parsley for color. I’ll always indicate that with “optional garnish” next to the ingredient.
Okay, then. Ready?
Shrimp and Pesto Pasta: Angel hair pasta, shrimp, pesto (either jarred, or home-made), cherry or grape tomatoes, and parmesan cheese: five!
No excuses! Get cooking!
- 8 ounces angel hair pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (I used bacon fat)
- 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
- 3-4 ounces of pesto
- 6 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 ounce parmesan cheese, grated (I used a microplane to get fine shreds and to make that one ounce seem to go further.)
- reserved pasta cooking water
- Using a large sauce pan, filled with salted water, bring the water to a boil.
- While the water is coming to a boil, in a large skillet, add the olive oil.
- Angel hair pasta cooks in about 4 minutes, and that is all the time it will take for the rest of the dish, so when you've added the pasta to the boiling water, add the shrimp to the fat in the skillet.
- After two minutes, turn the shrimp.
- Add ½ of the pesto to the shrimp and stir.
- Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste.
- After another two minutes, the pasta will be ready (timing is important, because you don't want to overcook the shrimp, or they will be tough - about 4 minutes is all you will need).
- Drain the pasta, reserving some of the pasta water (I drain my pasta in a colander that has been set in a bowl).
- Add the drained pasta to the shrimp, pesto and tomatoes in the skillet.
- Add the remaining pesto, and half of the parmesan cheese, and toss with tongs to mix.
- Add a bit of the reserved pasta water, about 2-3 tablespoons, if the pasta seems dry.
- Serve the pasta in a bowl, or on a plate and sprinkle remaining parmesan cheese over the top of the servings.