I am so thankful to have the best Guinea pigs on the planet, my husband, kids, and in-laws never complain and they eat everything. Granted I think it’s practically impossible to say no to good food, or any food…but I’m very thankful anyway. My understanding from friends is that my kids, who do try everything I put in front of them, are the exception.
Sunday, I made a treat, another homemade pasta. I was not in the slightest bit concerned: garlic and shrimp are always a perfect combination. I have had this on my list for 3 weeks, but with the activities associated with the end of the school year and spring sports, I needed to find the right day to make pasta.
This is another from the pasta cookbook I got for Christmas and it was another win.
Although, as is fairly typical, I started with dessert when I got back from the grocery store. A couple of weeks ago you may have noticed Bailey’s Cream Cheese Brownies on the list, I was not happy, they were cake-like instead of fudge-like even though the flavor was perfect. I threw a large chunk in the freezer to give it new life. Homemade ice cream is a wonderful treat, and even better with Bailey’s and brownies.
My favorite go-to book for ice cream is Ben and Jerry’s cookbook. There are lots of ideas in there, but the most important item is the sweet cream base.
Start with the eggs and whip them until they are light and foamy. Then add the sugar slowly and they become thick and creamy. For ice cream, I always use my vanilla sugar; every time I use a vanilla bean it goes in this container of sugar, until I use the next one and swap it out.
Last add the milk, heavy cream, and in this case Bailey’s to create your base. After that follow your if cream maker’s instructions.
While it froze, I chopped my chuck of brownie and with a few minutes left I added in the chopped pieces.
I used a food processor recipe (still in my broken food processor). Starting with the flour and salt, then the eggs and oil all together.
Although it appears to be a sticky mess when I turned it out on the floured pastry board, after kneading for several minutes it is a beautiful soft and smooth dough.
Per the instructions I let it rest under a bowl while I began my preparations for rolling the pasta.
I divided it into six pieces and only worked with one piece at a time, leaving the others under the bowl while I rolled them out to thin sheets. (Thoroughly flour between the sheets so that they don’t stick together!)
Then they went through the the linguine blade and I spread them out and hung them everywhere.
While it dried I moved onto my sauce, starting by rinsing and cleaning the shrimp.
I blanched my tomatoes in the boiling pasta water so that the skin came off easily.
While the water was coming to a boil I started the sauce; the pasta went in about the same time as the shrimp.
The shrimp is added once the garlic is fragrant, once they are just opaque, the tomatoes, salt, and white wine are added. Once the wine had reduced off, the pasta was done and I tossed it all in a large bowl with the fresh parsley.
As usual, my MIL made a wonderful salad (spinach, sprouts, and water chestnuts). And we had a garlic bread to round out the meal before serving the brownie ice cream for dessert with freshly sliced strawberries.
Linguine with Garlicky Shrimp
Entrées, Shellfish, Tested and Approved!
- 2 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ red pepper flakes
- 2 roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 4 Tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
- sea salt
- Kosher salt
- 1 lb. linguine
In a large pot, bring 5 qt. water to a boil. While the water is heating, make the sauce.
In a frying pan large enough to accomodate the pasta later, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is softened but not browned, about 2 minutes.
Add the shrimp to the pan and sauté, turing once, until opaque, about 2 minutes on each side. Add the tomatoes, season with ~½ tsp. Sea salt, and stir to mix. Stir in the wine and cook until most of the alcohol has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. of the parsley, taste and adjust the seasoning, remove from the heat, and cover to keep warm.
When the water is boiling, check the package directions for the cooking time, then add 2 Tbsp. Kosher salt and the pasta to the boiling water, stir well, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is just shy of being al dente.
Return the sauce to low heat. Drain the pasta, add to the sauce in the pan, and toss until the strands are well coated with the sauce. Transfer to a warmed large, shallow serving bowl, or individual shallow bowls, top with the remaining parsley, and serve immediately.
Entrées, Pastas, Tested and Approved!
Prep 30 minutes ∙ Cook 0 minutes ∙ Makes Servings: 6 ∙ Source Williams-Sonoma | The Pasta Book, by Julia della Croce (Weldon Owen, 2010)
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose or “00” flour (see note above), plus more as needed
- 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tsp. olive oil
To make the dough by hand, measure the flour onto a work surface, mix in the salt and shape the flour into a mound. Using your fingertips, make a well in the center. Break the eggs into the center of the well and add the olive oil. Using a fork, beat until the eggs and oil are blended, making sure the liquid does not breach the walls of the well
Using the fork, gradually draw the flour from the sides of the well into the egg mixture and beat gently, always in the same direction, to combine the flour with the liquid. Secure the wall of the well with your other hand until the liquid has absorbed enough flour that it will not flow over the wall.
When the mixture is too stiff to use the fork, begin using both hands, gradually drawing in the flour from the bottom of the wall, until you have a soft, moist, but not sticky ball of dough. If the dough will not absorb more flour without becoming stiff, do not use it all. If it is too soft, add more flour, a spoonful at a time. Clean the work surface, dust it lightly with flour and flatten the ball of dough into a disk.
To make the dough with a food processor, fit a food processor with the metal blade. Add all but 1/2 cup of the flour and the salt to the work bowl and pulse to mix. You will use the reserved 1/2 cup flour later to adjust the consistency of the dough.
Crack the eggs into a liquid measuring cup and remove any stray shells. Add the olive oil; there is no need to stir. Pour the eggs and oil into the work bowl. Process until the flour is evenly moistened and crumbly, about 10 seconds. Test the dough by pinching it; if it is very sticky, add more flour, 1 Tbs. at a time, processing until it is incorporated. After about 30 seconds total, the dough should come together in a loose ball and feel moist but not sticky
Dust a clean work surface with flour. Remove the ball of dough from the food processor and place it in the center of the floured surface. Using your hands, flatten the dough into a disk.
For both methods: Using the heel of your hand, push the dough down and away from you, fold it in half back toward you, rotate a quarter turn and repeat the kneading motion. After about 10 minutes, the dough should be smooth and elastic.
Shape the dough into a ball, cover with an overturned bowl and let rest for 15 minutes before you roll it out. The gluten in the flour will relax, making the dough easier to roll. Do not let it rest longer or it will be too dry. Makes 1 lb. dough.
Ice Cream (Sweet Cream Base)
Desserts, Ice Cream and Custards, Tested and Approved!
Cook 30 minutes ∙ Makes ~1 quart ∙ Difficulty Easy ∙ Source Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream, room temperature
- 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
Use an electric mixer and whisk the eggs, until they turn light and fluffy (1-2 minutes).
Slowly, add the sugar while whisking the eggs. I usually use an electric mixer in one hand and then use the other hand to pour the sugar in a little bit at a time. Slower is better. When it’s all in there, mix it a minute or so more.
Then pour in the rest of the cream and milk and mix it all together.
- Vanilla Ice Cream: Add 2 teaspoons of good vanilla extract.
- Alcohol Flavored: Add ½ cup of liqour(s).
Chill the mix (either covered in the fridge, or using the double-bowl and ice method) until it’s below 40°F (5°C). It helps to chill the mix before it’s run through the machine, so it freezes faster. The faster the mix freezes, the smaller the ice crystals will be, and the smoother the texture.
If you have a machine with a built-in freezer, turn it on and let it get good and cold. Then turn on the motor so the dasher starts spinning, and pour in the mix.
It’ll take about 30 minutes, more or less, to churn. You’ll probably be able to hear the motor slowing down when it gets close, and you should probably stop it before it really starts having trouble, just so you don’t damage it. It’ll come out like stiff soft-serve ice cream.
Speed counts now. Get all the ice cream out of the machine, into containers, and into the freezer, as quickly as possible. After a few hours in the freezer, the ice cream will harden and be like what you buy in the store. Smaller, pre-chilled containers allow the ice cream to freeze faster, which is what you want to keep it from getting icy.