Super Spicy Shrimp and Red Onion Pasta
UPDATE: I re-made this dish in 2010, after I learned a few more things about cooking. Don’t forget to check out the much better version.
In my quest to eat more healthier things, I ran an epicurious search for foods not filled with butter. It didn’t come up with a lot, but a recipe for Spiced Shrimp and Red Onion Saute caught my eye. It looked fast, it didn’t require a ton of ingredients (other than spices, which I already have), and it looked relatively light. Plus, I love shrimp. I decided this would be an excellent Tuesday night meal, served over pasta, and with a little spinach thrown in, for greenery and extra vitamin purposes.
Well, it was very fast, and I’m assuming pretty healthy, but it was also so spicy I could hardly eat it. I also think I needed to add more shrimp, more spinach, and less onion, all of which alterations may happen in the future, because overall I think this was a pretty good dinner. Below, the recipe as followed, with my parenthetical alterations.
Super Spicy Shrimp and Red Onion Pasta
- 12 large shrimp, uncooked, peeled and deveined (I used cooked shrimp, because it was all I had available. And in future I’d certainly use more shrimp, or bigger shrimp)
- 1 small red onion, sliced (perhaps a smaller onion, or only half of the onion)
- 1/2 tsp. coriander
- 1/2 tsp. cardamom
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 3 T. olive oil
- 1 T. fresh ginger, minced (I’m not sure I used this much, but it was already almost too much–I’d go with 1/2 a tablespoon, perhaps)
- 2 T. hot chili paste (yikes–cut that back down to 1 T, I think)
- 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp. honey
- a big handful of baby spinach (or two)
- 1 or 2 cups of penne (I used whole wheat for extra healthy properties)
While you’re cooking the penne in boiling salted water, mix all the marinade ingredients together in a small mixing bowl. The marinade ingredients would be everything but the shrimp, onions, and spinach. When the marinade is well mixed, add the shrimp and onions, and toss so they’re coated in spicy goodness. Let the shrimp and onions marinade until the pasta is almost done, giving it a bit of a stir now and then.
About two minutes before the pasta is cooked, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Toss the shrimp and onions in the skillet, and saute until the onions are soft and the shrimp is cooked. Right before you’re done, add the spinach and saute for another or so, until the spinach is wilted. The recipe recommended cooking the onions first, and adding the shrimp once the onions have started to soften a bit. This was probably a step I should have followed, especially considering I was working with pre-cooked shrimp, but I didn’t feel like picking the shrimp out of the onion marinade, so I cooked it all together. If I had been making this for others, I probably wouldn’t have done this, but I don’t mind overcooked shrimp for myself, so laziness was allowed.
Once the spinach is wilted, drain the pasta and toss it into the skillet with the other stuff, stirring it in so the pasta gets coated with all the spicy sauciness. This is insanely fragrant: When my housemate came in, she immediately smelled the coriander and ginger. It has a really unique taste, but as I said, it was way too spicy for me, and I can handle a bit of spice, so…. There was also definitely not enough greenery. I tend to forget how much spinach wilts.
It was however, super speedy, which is a bonus when it’s already almost 10 on a weeknight, and with some minor alterations, this could be a new fan favorite. I suspect it might be even better over couscous, as the recipe suggested.
I was going to make some lovely sounding saffron biscuits yesterday, too, but then I saw that the recipe required five hours of baking time! Five hours! I may try it someday when I have a bit more time. I also my try to alter it a little so they don’t have to bake for five hours. Either way, I think you may see then here soon.