Occasionally we did have blocks of frozen some-kind-of-fish but that did little to stir any craving in me. But when I got to out (aside from the K of C) I immediately gravitated towards shrimp, Lent or not, and that’s one childhood love I’ve held onto to tightly. Shrimp in any form.
I made this lemon sauced pasta last week and it was so darn lip-smacking good, I think I’ll make it again this Friday. (So much for variety, huh?) I was inspired by Indigo’s Sugar Spectrum, who was inspired by Smitten Kitchen. I adapted the recipe, though. I used half and half instead of cream, fresh spinach instead of basil or arugula or chives and I added shrimp. The pasta was delectable on its own, but the addition of shrimp was a perfect complement. The lemony sauce is nicely tart but sweetened by the half-and-half.
I just steamed the shrimp but next time (that will be this Friday) I’m going to roast the shrimp first. Can’t believe that as much as I love roasted vegetables I didn’t think of this myself.
Before taking a look at the recipe, a very simple one, read this delightful little poem. I found this a couple weeks ago on my daily newsletter The Writers Almanac and the author was kind enough to give me permission to use it here. Get a chuckle.
by Cherie Lashway
There once was a logger, named Paddy O'Connell,
Who at lunch during Lent, found himself at McDonalds,
And had just settled down to his Big Mac and fries,
When along came his priest, much to both their surprise.
The priest said to Paddy, "Just what are you eating?
In this season of Lent, I sure hope you're not cheating."
Paddy said to the Father, "I'll tell you no lies.
I'm enjoying a Big Mac, along with some fries."
The priest said to Paddy, "I see no repentance.
Because of this sin, you will have to do penance.
"By Friday or sooner, I say that you should,
For our fireplace, deliver a cord of chopped wood."
Now our timberman, Paddy, an overworked man,
Did think to himself, "I don't think that I can."
But early on Friday, our priest, he heard shoveling,
And looked out the window at Paddy not groveling.
And saw with confusion, dismay and disgust,
That the wood bin was now almost filled with saw dust.
He called down below, barely hiding his ire:
"Hey Paddy, your penance was wood for the fire!"
To which Paddy said, rising up from his work,
While wiping his brow and concealing a smirk:
"I've brought you a cord, like you said that I should,
But if burger be meat, well then sawdust be wood!"
"Lenten Dissent" by Cherie Lashway, used with permission of the author
Now for the recipe . . .
Lemon and Spinach Pasta with Shrimp
Adapted from Indigo’s Sugar Spectrum and Smitten Kitchen
1 pound spaghetti or linguine
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup half and half
½ cup of Parmesan, plus more for serving
4 cups baby spinach
1 pound steamed shrimp
Zest and juice the lemons – you’ll need a good tablespoon of zest and 1/2 cup of juice. Cook and drain pasta, reserving 1-1/2 cups of pasta cooking water. Dry out your pot, then boil the olive oil, half and half, zest and 1 cup of the reserved pasta water together for two minutes over high heat. Return pasta to pot and stir until coated. Add the cheese and 1/4 cup lemon juice and toss everything together. Add more pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, until the noodles are nice and loose. Add remaining lemon juice, then toss in spinach leaves until wilted. Add the shrimp and toss again.
Have more cheese on hand to sprinkle on the served plates.