Sunday, January 5, 2014

Langostino Tail Pasta--Luxury on the Fly

Add as much or as little cheese to this as you wish.

Today I am going to run through a quick dish that was made from mostly things I had on hand, a great pantry friendly dish. The dish is something I throw together, so the amounts will be my best guess, and if you decide to make it, use whatever makes sense to you. We were in need of a major pasta fest, and I had stocked up at Trader Joe's in anticipation of my kids being home more over college/christmas break. I was home so I wanted to cook a few more things I had forgotten about. I had a 12-oz package of what TJs calls Langostino Tails, cleaned and cooked and frozen, about 80 to 100 to a bag. So they are small and thaw as they cook. I had pasta, some dairy and spinach in the fridge, so this is what I did:

Langostino Tail Pasta Sauce

1   12-oz bag of frozen langostino tails (you could also use small shelled and deveined shrimp, but adjust time if they are uncooked)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 oz butter
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 cup milk (cream would make it really good too, but not necessary)
about 1/2 pound baby spinach leaves, rough chopped or torn
red pepper flakes
Shaved Parmesan Cheese (Yes! Cheese with shellfish, it's done ALL the time. There are no cookbook authors lurking outside your kitchen to arrest you when the cheese hits the pan.)

1 lb. linguini or spaghetti or other long pasta (or what ever you like)

Start the water for the pasta

In a large skillet, melt the butter and olive oil together and saute the garlic until softened and fragrant. Add the frozen langostino tails, breaking apart the little clusters, and sauteing with the garlic butter mix. As they heat through, add the spinach, and allow it to wilt. Keep an eye on the langostino tails, as they will heat through quickly and you don't want to do more than that. Pour in the milk, simmer for just a moment and toss in some shaved parmesan cheese, I would say about 1/4 cup. This will thicken the sauce a little and add a saltiness. Add a pinch of red pepper flake and set off the heat.

You want the sauce to be liquidy, a lot will get absorbed into the pasta.

In the meantime, the pasta should be cooking. When it is done, drain and toss into the pan with the pasta sauce, or mix both together in a larger serving bowl. Sprinkle with more cheese in the pan or individually on plated servings.

Notes: You may find this a bit rich, you could certainly add some lemon zest to the dish when you add the red pepper flakes. You can also do something similar with smoked salmon. Instead of adding the langostino tails, add about 6 oz. of smoked salmon chunks, and heat through. In the case of the salmon, you may want to add some frozen peas instead of or in addition to spinach.

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