So last night I made this fantastic dinner. I love one dish meals for a weeknight – so simple and neat. I bought the pound and a half of shrimp, texted Zach as to what time he’d be home and it turns out he’s going to his brother’s apartment in Williamsburg for dinner and they are having over Jen – their nanny! And I didn’t even know about it. How sweet is that!? And here I bought the shrimp specifically for Zach, as he had been talking about shrimp for dinner – he was craving. Go figure! But he enjoyed the leftovers when he got home at midnight.
ORECCHIETTE WITH SHRIMP AND BROCCOLI RABE
Trim the ends off, wash and chop the broccoli rabe into 2″ size pieces. Make sure no yellow flowers have bloomed. If they have, remove them and NEVER buy a head with bloomed flowers as they are really really bitter. Now put all the rabe in a large pot and cover with 2″ of cold water over the top. Salt the water and rabe with coarse sea salt, stir and put the pot on high heat. When little boiling bubbles start to form around the edge of the pot, remove from heat, drain and immerse in an ice cube bath of water to stop the cooking. When cold, drain thoroughly, spin (in your lettuce spinner) and then pat dry.
Warm 2 tbs. olive oil in a large skillet, add 7 (yes seven) cloves of minced garlic, one-half of medium-sized red onion, sliced on a hand mandoline. Saute all on low heat for 10 minutes to soften and get all melty. I would typically add the 1/4″ cubes of pancetta here, from one 1/4″ slice – but I forgot!
Fill the pot you cooked the broccoli rabe in with water to cook the orrecchiette. Salt with coarse sea salt and bring to a rolling boil. Cook the pasta 1- 2 minutes less than the minimum time on the package directions. Taste to be sure it is al dente properly. Save a half of a coffee cup of pasta water before draining, just in case you need a little moisture in your finished dish. (My boys always tease me about this as I often never use it – but just in case!)
Meanwhile, wash and dry 1.5 lbs of shrimp, cleaned and shelled but tails left on and salt and pepper one side of each. Add 1 seeded and minced habanero pepper and 1/2 cup of chicken broth to the garlic and onion mixture and saute for 2 minutes more. Raise your heat and add the broccoli rabe, saute for 2 minutes and then add the shrimp plus 1/2 cup dry Vermouth and cook until the shrimp are pink on both sides. When done remove from heat.
Put the cooked pasta in a large bowl, pour on shrimp mixture and add 1/2 cup of grated Romano cheese (don’t tell the Italians as they would NEVER put cheese on a fish dish, but here it is great and adds a little natural saltiness) and toss. To finish, drizzle on 2 tbs olive oil and sprinkle 1/4 cup of chopped fresh mint.
Let me know how you like this!
(Can you believe I forgot the pancetta?)