Saturday, June 14, 2014

Inspired: Garlicky Pasta with Shrimp

Garlicky Pasta With Shrimp Topped with Crunchy Panko Breadcrumbs in a white rectangular bowl
Garlicky Pasta With Shrimp Topped with Crunchy Panko Breadcrumbs
Today was going to be a great day. I pretty much had it planned out. Wake up early in the morning, take a shower and go to the movies. I planned on seeing 'Chef' by Jon Favreau. I had kept up with reviews for the movie during the release week. I even read a profile on Mr. Favreau in the NYTimes a few weeks back. The movie was definitely on my radar and I really did not want to miss an opportunity to see it in theatre.

Cue MBTA's craziness this morning. There was construction on the redline so it took me much longer to get into town than I had estimated. I was running 15 minutes late. I got into the movie theatre just as the Coca-cola ad that ends the preview session was finishing up. I was so relieved. And the movie started...and I was in awe. I loved the movie so much. It is very much a homage to the creative life, in my opinion. I loved the way food is treated with awe-inspiring amazing shots of foods being cooked and plated. It all looked so real.

Early in the movie, the main character "Chef" makes this dish that is basically pasta in garlic infused oil with red pepper. I knew as I watched it that I was going to make something like that today. I was salivating. I had planned on having a sandwich from Potbelly for lunch but all of sudden I knew I had to cook my lunch. It did not matter that I basically had fruits and nuts for breakfast so I was hungry. I just had to have the pasta. Luckily for me, the only ingredient I had to get was the pasta. I had everything else at home.

Just a warning before you get to the recipe. There is a lot of oil in this dish. If you are afraid of oil, don't even bother. The oil is what makes this such a decadent and fragrant dish that warms the soul and makes you glad that you are able to taste such goodness. Also, if you don't like garlic, this is not for you.

That said...I used garlic ramps/spring garlic for this recipe because I got a free bunch earlier this week. If you don't have garlic ramps, normal garlic cloves would do. In the movie, the recipe is actually made with garlic cloves.

arlic Ramps, Panko Breadcrumbs, Red Pepper Flakes and Angel Hair Pasta on a chopping board
Garlic Ramps, Panko Breadcrumbs, Red Pepper Flakes and Angel Hair Pasta

Garlicky Pasta With Shrimps and Crispy Panko Breadcrumbs.

Ingredients (serves 1)

1/3 Cup of  Olive Oil + 1Tbsp of Olive Oil
1/3 Cup of Panko Breadcrumbs
8oz. of 30ct. Shrimps
5 Cloves of Garlic
Angel Hair Pasta*
1Tbsp of Red Pepper Flakes
Sea Salt
Black Pepper

*I am not putting quantity on the angel hair pasta because you should be cooking as much of it as is appropriate for you.


1. Put on a big pot of water to boil. Check to see how long the pasta needs to be cooked for. You want to align the cooking time on the pasta so that you can transfer it directly into the oil when it is cooked. While the water comes to a boil, thinly slice the garlic cloves.
Finely slicing a bunch of cleaned garlic ramps on a white chopping board
I used garlic ramps instead of garlic gloves as called for in this recipe.

2. In a non-stick pan, add in the 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When it just barely heated, add in the panko breadcrumbs, salt to taste and a pinch of black pepper. Move the breadcrumb around the pan until it is evenly toasted. Be careful not to burn the breadcrumbs. Transfer it to a paper towel lined plate.

Chili flakes and slices of garlic cooking in olive oil
Chili flakes and Garlic

3. In the non-stick pan, add in the 1/3 cup of olive oil and add in the sliced garlic. Keep the heat at low to medium. You want to slowly cook the garlic in the oil and allow it time to infuse. After about 5 minutes, add in the red pepper flakes and stir.

4. Add in a generous amount of salt into the boiling water. You should start cooking the pasta.
Raw shrimp with fried crispy garlic slices  and red chili flakes in a non-stick pan
Shrimp, Crispy Garlic and Chili
5.Add the shrimps into the non-stick pan when the pasta is just about to be cooked.

Cooked angel hair pasta being tossed with two wooden spoon into a pan of crispy fried garlic slices, shrimps and olive oil
Mixing in the pasta into the oil
6. Transfer the cooked pasta directly from the cooking water into the garlic-oil mix. Turn the heat to high so that the extra moisture from the pasta quickly dries out. Keep mixing pasta and garlic oil together in pan until the everything is evenly distributed.

A bowl of garlicky pasta and shrimp topped with crunchy panko breadcrumbs
Done! Garlicky Pasta and Shrimp
7. Transfer pasta to a serving plate and top with the crispy panko breadcrumbs you cooked earlier.

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