Pasta was served only one way at home when I was growing up: With tomato sauce and meat. Yup, spaghetti. Mom didn’t know how to make lasagna or tortellini. Mom cooked Filipino dishes, not Italian pasta. As I got older, I discovered there was more to pasta than just tomato sauce and marinaras. Even discovered that pasta water can serve as a bit of a sauce. This is one of those dishes that is uses the blend of lemon juice, fresh tomatoes and pasta water to create a zesty, light sauce. Yes, it is delish! Best thing about this dish, it’s easy to make and serves up in under 30 minutes.
1 pound medium to large shrimp, shelled and deveined
4 teaspoons lemon zest, divided
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped
1 sprig fresh oregano, leaves removed and chopped
4 basil leaves, torn
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cup tomatoes, sliced
1 12 oz. package of baby spinach
16 oz. angel hair pasta
Lemon juice to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
grated Parmesan cheese
On a plate, toss the shrimp with the crushed red pepper, half the lemon zest, chopped herbs and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and the remaining lemon zest. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Saute for a couple of minutes. Add the shrimp saute until shrimp is cooked through. Lower heat. Add spinach and saute. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and cook the angel hair according to package or until al dente. Drain all but about 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Toss with the shrimp and tomato/spinach mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add as much pasta water as you want to create a thin sauce. Serve it with more lemon juice and Parmesan cheese.