Guys Can Enjoy Cooking Indoors, Too
The culinary arts sometimes do not necessarily come easily for men. While guys often look forward to grilling season, cooking indoors lacks the appeal of an open fire and friends and family munching on flame-broiled delights.
But cooking inside can be just as fun and rewarding as standing over the grill outdoors. Such is the case with the following recipe for “Pasta With Shrimp and Bacon” from Tucker Shaw’s “Gentlemen, Start Your Ovens” (Chronicle Books).
Pasta With Shrimp and Bacon Serves 4
1 pound medium shrimp, uncooked
1/2 pound slab bacon, diced, or 4
slices bacon, snipped into pieces with scissors 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more
1/2 pound dried linguine or spaghetti 1/4 cup white wine (use a decent
white, an Italian Pinot Grigio, one you will
drink with dinner)
2 garlic cloves, smashed and diced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
A few red pepper flakes, finely
A couple handfuls arugula leaves
(about 2 to 3 ounces), chopped
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Fill your largest pot with water and set it on high. Throw in a handful of salt, more than you think you need. Cover it and bring it to a boil. This could take 20 minutes, so get this going before you pour yourself a drink.
Pour the drink and prepare the shrimp: Peel and devein the shrimp by slicing straight down the back with your paring knife and scraping out that black intestine. (Note: You don’t have to do this because it won’t kill you to eat it, but most people do not like the veins.) Set them aside in a small bowl with a few cubes of ice on top.
Put the bacon in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle it with a little olive oil and saute it until most of the fat has rendered and the bacon becomes crispy. Remove from the heat until your water boils and you put your linguine on.
Once the linguine is cooking (it should take about 10 to 12 minutes, but check the package for directions), return the saute pan to medium-high heat and add the 2 tablespoons olive oil, the wine, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Add the shrimp in a single layer. Saute for 2 minutes, then turn the shrimp and saute for 2 minutes more. Reduce the heat to low. Lay the arugula over the top of the shrimp.
Drain the pasta, then add to the pan, covering the arugula. Mix thoroughly, coating all the pasta and adding more olive oil if necessary. Add the lemon zest and juice and mix. Add the Parmesan. Remove from the heat and serve immediately, with one last drizzle of olive oil (at this point, use the good stuff if you have it).
Suggestion: If they look good at the store, throw in a handful of grape or cherry tomatoes alongside the shrimp while they’re sauteing. You could also throw in some basil instead of that arugula, or maybe some olives that you’ve sliced in half. Maybe some anchovy fillets or zucchini shavings.