1 beefsteak tomato, rough chopped, no seeds (you want just the “meat” of the tomato)
Half a bunch of fresh cilantro, leaves intact, no stems.
¼ of a fresh white onion, chopped into small pieces.
Half a pound of medium sized shrimp, peeled, deveined, no tails.
8 oz. of “Alphabet” pasta (Any small pasta will do, but “alphabet” shapes are fun.)
A handful of organic baby carrots, chopped into bite-sized bits.
A handful of organic green beans, chopped into bite-sized bits.
Half a glass of wine (I use white zinfandel.)
A knob of butter
Powdered Galingale (or galangal) (This is an Asian ginger)
Ground Sumac (a tart Persian spice made from dried berries.)
Serves four. Prep time, about half an hour. Cook time, about 15 minutes. It all cooks pretty fast, but it can be tricky to juggle all the different parts at once. You may want to do it in sections.
Some observations –
This involves three different pieces of cookware – a large stock pot, a steamer, and a sauté pan with a glass lid. They are all needed to ensure that everything has the right texture. It is important that the carrots are cooked enough to be tender, the green beans and onions are crisp, the shrimp is tender but not tough, and the tomato and cilantro are not mushy.
Look in an international market for the Galingale and Sumac. Their delicate flavors are worth it. Barring that, you can substitute regular powdered ginger and some fresh lemon juice.
Get organic whenever possible. It is worth it.
Steam the carrots and green beans, with the carrots on the bottom because they take longer. Take them off the heat when the carrots are fork tender. Set aside in the pot with the cover on to keep them warm.
Put a knob of butter in a large sauté pan that you have a glass lid for. Have the heat at medium-low (About at 4 if 10 is “high”.) When the butter has melted, add the onions. Let them cook just a little bit, but not enough to go translucent. You want them crisp, not caramelized. Add the shrimp, the wine, and the turmeric, galingale, salt, and sumac. Three shakes of each, maybe? You can be generous with these spices. Put the glass lid on and let it steam. Stir frequently. It is done when the shrimp go opaque. Lower the heat.
Cook the pasta per the package instructions (usually 5-6 minutes) in a large stock pot. Drain but do not rinse. Return to the pot and move it off the heat. Add the cooked carrots and green beans, and then add the only the shrimp from the sauté pan. Put a lid on it to keep it warm.
To what is left in the sauté pan, add the tomatoes and the cilantro. Stir them frequently until the cilantro has wilted. Then pour all of that into the stock pot with the pasta, carrots, green beans, and shrimp.
Pour in a few generous glugs of olive oil and some more sea salt into the mixture. Stir it all together and add more olive oil and salt to taste.
Serve immediately. Fresh crispy bread goes well with this.
Created by me on 2-7-14.