Guajillo Chile Shrimp and Pasta

Recipe: Guajillo Chile Shrimp and Pasta

Whew! It is busy around casa de My Place lately.

We’re remodeling the downstairs bathroom, step 1 of many in the once-every-18-years-redecorate-the-house project we’re involved in. It always surprises me how much chaos gets injected when you start painting and tiling and replacing.

Oh, and we’re also getting ready for our annual trip to San Diego. It seems like preparing to spend a week lolling around on the beach should be pretty easy, but not the way we do it.

I wanted to make something quick and filling that didn’t use up a bunch of dishes. We were both tired from taping and painting, with detritus spread all over the downstairs. Thankfully I had a recipe from SimplyRecipes.com that I’d been wanting to try for a while and it fit the bill perfectly. I know it’s probably poor form to laud another food-blog from my own, but if you’ll go back over my last year’s worth of posts I think you’ll find a lot of my meals start from recipes found there. It’s a great site, with good food tips, is what I’m saying.

The recipe calls for Ancho chiles, but I couldn’t find any when I went shopping. The Guajillo chiles I used are a sweeter, milder form and they turned out fine. I’m definitely going to try Ancho next time, because I like the heat. Also, the recipe calls for something other than olive oil, which I feel is a giant fail. Olive oil is the right call here. You’re not deep-frying anything, you’re cooking it over medium/medium-high heat so smoke point should not be an issue. Use high quality EVOO.

The prep involved is minimal. Slice the garlic, peel and de-vein the shrimp. If you’re like me, your first inclination is to soak the dried chiles in water to reconstitute them before slicing them up. Don’t. Just follow the directions. Rinse them off, seed and de-vein them, then Chiffonade (or just slice them up). The step where you toast the peppers and garlic in the oil before cooking the shrimp is there so the oil gets infused with chile and garlic. If you pre-soak the chile, the oil won’t get the flavors it needs. Cook the chiles about 45 seconds, just so they’re starting to crisp a bit.

Then, you mix it all together with the pasta (I used angel hair) and serve immediately. The garlic-chile oil makes a delicious sauce with the shrimp and pasta. Dress with some Parmesan and dig in!

Rating:I give this a 4 out of 5 glasses of the appropriate white wine, holding back a fifth glass for when I use Ancho chile. This will make you forget all about tomato-based sauces for pasta.

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