January 2, 2013 by caitlinvaclark
For years I’ve had a tradition of not starting the new year until the 2nd. I guess in a way you could say my years only consist of 364 days. New Year’s Day is meant to be the day that time forgot. You sleep late, eat horrible food because if time forgot it your diet did too, and you fill the day by watching a marathon of that last year’s talked-about show. So I guess that you are catching up with pop culture so you can feel like the day has some sense of purpose.
Now this year, we broke a cardinal rule: we left the house. We had to get up and grab a bus to say goodbye to our family in town. But not to worry, Chris and I immediately came home, got back into pajamas (at 2pm), and fell onto the couch to begin a TV marathon. Of course, Chris and I have been pretty good about keeping caught up with TV lately, so we went old-school and started The West Wing. I’m proud to say that we are now 2 discs in… only 43 to go.
Usually this day would consist of pizza delivery for lunch, likely followed by Chinese food for dinner, and probably some cookies and chips scattered in there. Filthy, I know. This year, I broke with tradition by making a great (and healthy, yikes?! who am I?) pasta. Chris even had to do work while we watched TV, so I blame him. He started it. I guess we are really growing up. Who knows, maybe next year we’ll be the couple hosting one of those New Year’s Day Open Houses or something? Doubtful. We’ll probably still be watching The West Wing.
For dinner, I made another Toss Up Pasta. Using pantry and fridge staples, this is a dish that you can have entirely on hand. Translation – you can make this without going to the store. Okay, I guess at some point you must shop for the items, but I use frozen shrimp, canned tomatoes, dried pasta, and cured chorizo. Everything can sit for weeks in your house just waiting for the day you turn them into a magical dinner. And with frozen shrimp, it thaws so quickly that you only have to think about making this dish about 30 minutes in advance.
I start making the base of the sauce with onion, chorizo, garlic and smoked paprika.
Add white wine and diced tomatoes to create a beautiful sauce to cook the shrimp and and coat the pasta.
Toss everything evenly, ideally in a skillet big enough so you can continue to cook the pasta in the sauce for a few minutes until everything is heated through. (If you had to, a big bowl would be okay.)
Serve this dish garnished with spring onions and a light grating of manchego cheese.
Smokey Shrimp Pasta
12 oz. dried pasta
½ tbs. olive oil
½ medium onion, diced
2 oz. sliced chorizo, cut into thin strips
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
¾ tsp smoked paprika
½ cup white wine
1 (16 oz.) can diced tomatoes
12 oz. shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 tbs. Manchego cheese
Place a large pot of water on to boil. Once boiling, salt the water and add the pasta. Cook for 8 minutes until al dente.
Meanwhile, heat a very large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion for 3 minutes, then add the chorizo and garlic. Cook for 3 more minutes until the chorizo begins to brown. Add the smoked paprika.
Deglaze the pan with white wine. Cook wine down for 2 minutes.
Pour the diced tomatoes into the sauce. Bring to a low simmer then taste for seasoning before adding the shrimp. (I found that it needed a crack of pepper, but no salt.)
Stir the shrimp into the sauce and cook for about 5 minutes, until the shrimp just turn pink. Toss the cooked pasta into the sauce.
Serve the pasta garnished with green onions and some grated manchego.