Shrimp and Vegetables With Pasta, Capers, and White Wine

Professional chefs and home cooks find creative uses for leftovers. Their recipes are often excellent. I had some leftover spaghetti on hand and some frozen shrimp that was starting to develop freezer burn. A thrifty person, I couldn’t discard these ingredients, and decided to combine them in an original recipe.

When I looked in the vegetable drawer of my refrigerator I found a red pepper, a small zucchini, and a yellow onion–foods that go well together. When I checked the pantry shelves I found some rosemary bread sticks imported from Italy. Ta da! I had the makings of a marvelous meal.

I live in the Midwest and fresh fish, other than Walleye and trout, is hard to get. Supposedly fresh fish is displayed in store cases, but this fish can be frozen fish that has been thawed. Eating fish that has been frozen, partially thawed or thawed, and re-frozen can put you at risk for food poisoning.

Years ago I ate a breaded fish patty sandwich (frozen fillet) and developed Scombroid Fish Poisoning. Much to my shock, gigantic hives appeared on my body. One hive covered an entire thigh. I’ve never forgotten this experience and am careful about keeping frozen fish totally frozen. If I buy frozen fish I ask the staff person if it’s really fresh, or defrosted fish.

Since this recipe contains lots of vegetables, I didn’t bother to fix a salad. If you want to round out the meal with salad, go ahead and do it. Don’t expect a thick sauce with this recipe. Instead, the pasta and shrimp are flavored with a thin sauce made with butter, wine, and garlic.

Choose a dry white wine that will compliment the recipe ingredients, not overpower them. My husband and I loved this recipe and I think you will enjoy it too. Because it’s winter in Minnesota, I warmed the pasta bowls before I dished up dinner. Serve this recipe with bread sticks, crusty bread, or garlic toast.

INGREDIENTS

20 frozen, cooked large shrimp

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, halved and cut into crescents

1 small zucchini, quartered and cut into 1/2″ chunks

1 red pepper, seeded and cut into 1″ strips

1 teaspoon garlic salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

3 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons small capers, drained

1 cup dry white wine

Parmesan cheese for garnish

METHOD

1. Thaw shrimp according to package directions. Remove tails and set aside.

2. Coat skillet with olive oil. Turn heat to medium.

3. Add onion crescents and cook until soft.

4. Add zucchini and red pepper. Cook 5 minutes.

5. Scatter shrimp over vegetable mixture. Add pasta and toss with tongs to combine. Turn heat to low.

6. Season pasta and vegetables with garlic salt, black pepper, butter, and capers.

7. Pour white wine over mixture. Cover and simmer over low heat for 5-8 minutes.

8. Spoon into large soup bowls. Garnish liberally with Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 servings.

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