|A nice tomato-based sauce made with shrimp and served over spaghetti noodles.|
Shrimp SpaghettiCarnival is over and Mardi Gras has ended. The season of Lent has begun. Today is Ash Wednesday and Catholics observing Lent are required to fast today, which means only one full meal is permitted (or two smaller meals that are less than equal to a "full" meal) and that meal must be meat free - though seafood, eggs and dairy are permitted. For many of us, that means our primary meal will be supper, or dinner.
Because this dish takes shortcuts by using canned pasta sauce and tomatoes, here in the Deep South it is referred to as Shrimp Boat Spaghetti, a dish that can easily be made with a scoop out of the day's catch with ingredients that are easily transported on a shrimp boat. It's a speedy dish that comes together in no time but tastes like it simmered all day, perfect for those long work days. Use whatever sauce you like here, what you can catch on sale, or what is available at a lower cost. I prefer the Del Monte traditional version of their canned sauce, because it tastes great and they are inexpensive.
As always, I recommend using Wild American shrimp, never foreign imports and if you are near us, preferably Gulf shrimp, when purchasing shrimp.
I'll be focusing on some other Lent friendly recipes in the coming days - most of which for us in this area of the country are primarily seafood focused. During the season of Lent you'll find a quick link on the sidebar for Lent friendly recipes, so that if you are looking for ideas, be sure to look for that button, as I will be adding to it as time permits.
Here's how to make it.
Recipe: Shrimp Spaghetti©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 30 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
- 1 pound of medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1/2 teaspoon of Creole or Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), to taste
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 cup of chopped Vidalia or yellow onion
- 1/2 cup of chopped medium sweet bell pepper (red or green)
- 2 toes of garlic, chopped
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can of Italian style stewed tomatoes
- 1 (26.5 ounce) can of your favorite pasta sauce
- 2 medium bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil
- 1 (1 pound) package of spaghetti noodles
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon of dried parsley flakes
Peel and devein shrimp, rinse and drain well and pat dry with paper towels. Spread shrimp out on a large baking pan in a single layer and sprinkle lightly with Cajun seasoning to taste depending on how hot you like it. Set aside.
Add olive oil to a deep skillet and heat to medium. Add chopped onion and bell pepper and sauté until tender. Add garlic and cook a bit longer but do not allow garlic to brown or it will have a bitter taste. Add stewed tomatoes and use a potato masher to break them up. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Add spaghetti sauce, bay leaves and a couple shakes of basil; let simmer for another 15 minutes.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add to it 2 to 3 very generous pinches of kosher salt. Add pasta and cook to al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water before draining and set aside. Drain pasta well and set aside. Add shrimp to sauce, stir well and cook just until pink and cooked through. Add only enough pasta water to sauce as needed, and only if sauce has become too thick. Combine the pasta with several spoons of the sauce and toss well. Plate individual servings of pasta, top with sauce, crack a bit of fresh black pepper over top and sprinkle very lightly with parsley.
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©Deep South Dish
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