Sometimes, we learn lessons the hard way. Yesterday, my lesson came via 44CFH ($47) shrimp.
I was treating myself to some fancy food shopping at the gourmet grocery store on the bottom level of the Globus department store. I knew it would be expensive: I bought marinated artichoke hearts, a beautiful jar of green olives, pulchritudinous prosciutto (is it ok to anthropomorphize prosciutto? I believe so), and some other great treasures. When the resulting bill was higher than I expected, I just assumed that everything was just a little more expensive than I had realized, factored in the bottle of wine, and simply thought, it's good I don't grocery shop here on a regular basis!
It wasn't until I got home and was unpacking my bag that I discovered my mistake. I should have realized that the 8,90 per kilo price on the shrimp was much too economical for Globus and for such beautiful seafood. But I swear that's what the sign said. The sticker on my shrimp, however, said 89,00 per kilo. I bought a half kilo. Yikes!
The only thing to do in a scenario like this is resolve to make the best shrimp dinner ever (after shaking my head a few times in disbelief at my naiveté and apparently lacking arithmetic skills - I guess it's good that I get paid to do complicated math and not the simple stuff). This worked out, as I was already planning something special. During my trip to Athens last week, I picked up some black (sepia) pasta colored with cuttlefish ink. Fancy pasta, meet the world's most expensive shrimp.
So, did I pull off the best shrimp dinner ever? Not quite. The flavors were great (and the garlic-butter smell that filled the apartment was amazing), but the shrimp ended up a little tough from overcooking. This is one of those dishes I'd like to make again - I am confident the slightest changes would turn it into the best shrimp dinner ever. Normally I'd try again with modifications before posting, but I'm not about to repeat my expensive shrimp folly. Rather, I've noted the modifications I would make in the following recipe. I'll give it another try after I'm back to the land of affordable crustaceans.
Garlic Shrimp Pasta in White Wine Butter Sauce
3 Tbsp. butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
about a pound of big shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 c. white wine
1 Tbsp. fresh flat leaf parsley, minced
about 2 cups dried pasta*
*As mentioned, I used black (sepia) pasta, but I was unable to detect any ink flavor. Some people find the black color off-putting, but I find it interesting. In any case, feel free to substitute your favorite pasta of choice.
Cook pasta according to directions (when done, drain and set aside). Modification: cook only until al dente and finish cooking in the tasty butter-garlic-wine sauce.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until golden. Add shrimp and sauté 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add wine and simmer an additional minute. Stir in parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in pasta and cook until heated through. Modification: this overall cooking time was too long for my shrimp, which made them tough; instead I'd cook the shrimp one minute per side in the garlic butter sauce, then add wine, pasta, and parsley and simmer it all together just until shrimp are no longer pink.
Serve in bowls with crusty rustic bread that will help you get to every last drop of the butter-garlic-wine sauce, which I promise you'll want!