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And the Valley Cooks: Shrimp Pasta with Lemon Brown Butter Sauce

A bright, tasty dish for a spring evening.

Fridays in South Louisiana/seafood and all that — I found myself playing around with some shrimp, looked through a couple of different sauce recipes, and came up with a little diddy.

Ingredients

1 12 pounds fresh shrimp
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
12 cup butter, divided
14 cup olive oil
juice and zest of 1 lemon
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
14 cup green onions, plus more to garnish
Chopped fresh basil to garnish

Note: the shrimp I use here were pretty small, so it might’ve been closer to two pounds. Go with the size that works best for you, or with what you can find.

Instructions

1. Prepare your pasta of choice, drain, toss in a little bit of olive oil and set aside. I used penne here, but something thin like angel hair would probably work well. Combine salt, pepper and thyme, then toss with your shrimp and mix well.

2. Melt one quarter cup of butter and saute shrimp until they pink and curl up. Do not overcrowd, and do not overcook. Remove from the pan and set aside. Make sure to scrape the pan and loosen any brown bits.

3 In a separate pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, then saute lemon zest and the garlic (I used a rough chop for some larger pieces) until the edges start to turn darker brown and crisp up. Then add the green onions and bell pepper strips and cook until soft.

4. While the onions and bell pepper are sauteing, add the remaining butter to your original pan over medium-high heat and melt. Browning butter is tricky, so you’ll need to pay attention — it goes from brown to burned quick. Once its fully melted, the butter will foam up. When that foaming subsides and the butter starts to smell slightly nutty, its ready.

5. Immediately add the lemon juice to the olive oil/garlic/onion mixture, stir well and add to the browned butter. Mix well, allow to simmer for two minutes, then add the shrimp and mix well. Serve over pasta and garnish with more green onions and some fresh chopped basil.

Serves about four.