The other night I was feeling overwhelmed thinking about dinner. I had been in the kitchen all day, but none of what I had cooked or baked was going to pass for “dinner.” As I rummaged through the kitchen, it came to me. Shrimp out of the freezer + pasta from the pantry + spinach from the fridge = DINNER! Easy-peasy, fast and so good! My daughter actually ate spinach and said, “This is the best thing you’ve ever made!”

Shrimp and Spinach Orecchiette

1 lb. orecchiette
1T. sea salt
2 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
2/3 C. dry white wine
3 C. baby spinach
juice and zest of one lemon
sea salt and pepper to taste
1/4 C. Parmesan, grated
red pepper flakes to taste
In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a rapid boil. Add the orecchiette and the sea salt. Stir frequently and cook according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a 12″ skillet over medium heat, add 1 T. of the olive oil and the garlic. Sauté for just a minute. Don’t let the garlic brown or it will taste bitter. Add the shrimp, season with a bit of salt and pepper and continue cooking for just a few minutes; just until they begin to turn pink, but not done. Add the wine and simmer for another minute then add the spinach and 2 T. of the cooking water from the pasta. As soon as the spinach wilts, add the lemon juice and zest, then remove from the heat.
When the pasta is cooked, drain and add it to the skillet. Top with the Parmesan and the red pepper flakes, drizzle with the last tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and toss well to coat the pasta.

Notes:

  • If your shrimp is frozen, as mine was, just throw them into a colander in the sink and run cold water over them for about 2 minutes to defrost before cooking. Keep in mind, the shrimp should be raw, not cooked frozen shrimp.