One of the great benefits of the cruising lifestyle is enjoying the bounty from the sea. While sailing the Sea of Cortez aboard our Valiant 42, Contigo, my family and I decided to anchor in Bahia San Carlos, North of Guaymas, Mexico, to sit out a blow. We spent an excellent day snorkeling the reefs and playing on the beach. Later, when a shrimp boat came in to shelter for the night, the day got even better. My daughter and I jumped in the dinghy, armed with a few magazines, some chocolate bars and a couple of greenbacks. We traded them for a canvas bucket full of freshly caught shrimp, then hurried back to the boat to make dinner. Pasta is a staple on Contigo. It’s quick, easy and stores well. We wanted something that would complement but not overpower the shrimp, so we came up with this recipe: lemony garlic-shrimp pasta. It quickly became a family favorite, and still is. Enjoyed in the cockpit with a glass of white wine and a colorful sunset, it was the perfect end to the perfect day.
Lemony garlic shrimp pasta
- 1 pound shrimp
- 1 small onion (about 1/4 cup, for the broth)
- 1 cup shrimp stock (recipe below)
- 2 small lemons
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons butter, chilled
- 1 pound linguine
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Peel and devein shrimp; set aside shells for broth. Place reserved shrimp in a plastic or ceramic bowl, add zest and juice from one lemon, olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Toss to coat, then marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Prepare pasta according to package directions, but keep it al dente. Drain and set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Remove shrimp from bowl one at a time and place in pan. Reserve the marinade. Sear the shrimp on both sides just until they begin to brown lightly and turn slightly pink; do not overcook. Remove to a plate and keep warm. Reduce heat to medium. Pour remaining marinade into pan and stir for one minute. Add wine and shrimp stock, scraping up any brown bits with a wooden spoon. Simmer until reduced by half. Add the zest and juice of the second lemon. Stir in butter and parsley, correct seasoning to taste and add shrimp to just heat through. Add pasta. Toss to combine, turn out into a large serving bowl, garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately. Serves four.
Can be made: At anchor
Time: 1 hour
For the Broth
Shrimp broth is simple to make, and brings rich flavor to this dish. To prepare the broth, place reserved shrimp shells in a medium-size saucepan. Coarsely chop onion, add to shells, and add water to just cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes to reduce and concentrate flavors, then strain. Yields about 1 cup of broth. If you want to make this delicious shrimp broth even more flavorful, you can add fresh herbs such as thyme, bay leaf or parsley to the simmering water.