I handed Groom some cookbooks Saturday afternoon and asked him to pick something to do for dinner. I love it when he cooks. I can lounge on the sofa and enjoy a glass or so of wine, the fire and music as he takes over the culinary duties. I wanted comfort food, something earthy. He chose a wonderful Italian recipe from Joyce Goldstein with shrimp, cannelini beans, tomatoes and orecchiette.
If you haven’t heard of her, she is one hell of a cook and specializes in Mediterranean food. Her restaurant, Square One, in San Francisco was an amazing place. It closed in the mid nineties and she has continued feed her fans with great cookbooks. The Mediterranean Kitchen, Back to Square One, and Kitchen Conversations are must haves for the cookbook lover. And a grand meal it was!
Orecchiette with Shrimp, Cannelini, Greens, Tomatoes and Bread Crumbs
Adapted from Kitchen Conversations
¾ cup cooked cannelini beans, cooked
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
White wine, enough to cover the shrimp in a wide sauté pan
2/3 pound large shrimp, peeled (we use tail-on shrimp)
1 pound Orecchiette (shells or penne will work fine)
3 tbsp finely minced garlic
4 cups fresh arugula, cut into strips
2 tsp fresh grated lemon zest, kept moist in a little lemon juice
2 cups diced canned plum tomatoes, drained
1 cup toasted bread crumbs, recipe below no substitutions these are great!
Toss cannelini beans with a tablespoon of olive oil. In a wide sauté pan, pour the white wine and bring it to simmer. Add shrimp and cook til just turn pink. Should take three to four minutes. Remove shrimp and set aside and reserve cooking liquid.
Bring large pot of water to boil. Add salt and drop in past and stir well. While the pasta is cooking, warm 3 good swirls extra olive oil in large pan over low heat. Add garlic and cook for several minutes. Add the greens and a few tablespoons of the shrimp cooking liquids. Raise the heat to medium high and stir until the greens are wilted. Add the shrimp, cannelini, lemon zest and tomatoes. Add half the bread crumbs and warm through. Season with coarse salt and black pepper. When your pasta is done, drain it and toss with shrimp and arugula mix. Top with the remaining bread crumbs and serve at once. Serves 4.
Toasted Bread Crumbs
2 cups fresh Italian or French bread, cut in cubes
1 tsp coarse salt
Coarsely ground black pepper to taste
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 350. Pulse bread cubes in food processor to make coarse crumbs. Spread on a baking sheet . Stir salt and pepper into the oil and drizzle on the bread crumbs. Bank stirring occasionally until golden and crispy but not hard, 15 to 20 minutes.