Spaghetti With Shrimp, Broccolini and Basil

Spaghetti With Shrimp, Broccolini and Basil

This dish is no-drama with honest ingredients. During a busy week, its simplicity and flavor are a welcome and uncomplicated interlude. Crisp-tender broccolini spears and plump, briny shrimp mingle in a quick-cooked, three-ingredient tomato sauce infused with garlic. It’s fresh and bright, and can be whipped up in 30 minutes for a healthy weeknight dinner that’s low-maintenance and utterly delicious.

A series of quick steps ensures that each ingredient is perfectly cooked before tossing the whole lot together. The broccolini and shrimp are sauteed with crushed red pepper flakes and olive oil long enough to brighten in color and amplify their flavor, without overcooking and rendering them dull and limp. A simple Italian plum tomato sauce simmers with garlic to blend and thicken before binding the dish. A final flourish of fresh basil is added to the mix, letting the heat of the pasta wilt the leaves and release their perfume.

This short list of ingredients is accessible, straightforward and, well, honest. In return, it demands the best ingredients you can find for optimum flavor and freshness.

Lynda Balslev is the co-author of “Almonds: Recipes, History, Culture” (Gibbs Smith, 2014). Contact her at TasteFood, c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or send email to tastefood@tastefoodblog.com. Or visit the TasteFood blog at tastefoodblog.com.

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