Squid Ink Linguini with Asparagus and Shrimp

I have to say, this recipe for Squid Ink Linguini with Asparagus and Shrimp from Food and Wine is probably one of my favorite recipes I’ve ever made.  Not to mention, it’s impressive!  Whip this up for a first date and you’re in the clear.  Seafood pasta is automatically delicious, but the black linguini adds an exotic touch and the flavor palette is complex.  All around a perfect dish!

Tonight I was in the mood for something a little special. The holidays have put me in an ultra-cooking mood and I wanted to make something delectable, like pasta.  I wanted pasta specifically because I know come January I’ll be in a heath-freak mode and I’ll ban pasta from my house, which means I won’t be able to blog about any of my awesome pasta recipes!  One of those recipes, and the recipe I finally settled on, is from the 2012 Annual Food and Wine Cookbook. I’ve made this dish only once before and it turned out perfectly, and it’s been on my to-do-list for a few months now so I decided to whip it up again! I made some slight variations by adding shrimp and such (the original recipe was shrimpless), but the majority is still the same.

This pasta is relatively easy. In addition to being easy and quick the flavors of this pasta are incredible.  The pasta is creamy because of the crème fraîche, salty because of the black linguini, and nice and fresh from the herbs added in and the crisp bite of asparagus.  And the big succulent shrimp on top are an added bonus, along with crispy toasted breadcrumbs that add some crunch.  It’s definitely restaurant quality and I would certainly serve this to guests.  I may or may not have been bragging a little bit about it to Matt.

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Squid Ink Linguini with Asparagus and Shrimp (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lbs quid ink pasta (preferably linguini or fettuccine)
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 1/2 lbs this asparagus, spears cut into pieces but tips reserved
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp parsley
  • 2 Tbsp chives
  • 1 Tbsp tarragon
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 Tbsp of champagne vinegar (white wine vinegar works fine, too)
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • Parmesan cheese to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a large skillet heat 1/4 cups and 2 Tbsp olive oil.  Cook the shallots over medium heat until soft and translucent.  Add the garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper, and asparagus spears, and cook until the asparagus is bright green.  Add the wine and vinegar and cook until the liquid has almost reduced completely.  Remove from heat.

When the sauce is almost complete cook the pasta until al dente in a large pot of boiling water.  Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water when draining and add this along with the cooked pasta, crème fraîche, parsley, chives, and tarragon to the asparagus sauce.  Keep warm.

In a medium skillet add 1 Tbsp olive oil.  Season the asparagus tips and shrimp with salt and pepper and sauté in the olive oil until asparagus is bright green and shrimp is opaque, about 5 minutes.  Add the asparagus and shrimp to the pasta pot.

Add the remaining Tbsp of olive oil to the same skillet and add the bread crumbs.  Toast until golden brown for about 3-5 minutes.

Serve the pasta in bowls and top with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Devour!

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