My Mama went home this afternoon with half a kilo of excellent shrimps, large and fresh as can be. She got it from the wet market for 200 pesos, she says. Astounding. Considering how much shrimps are sold at supermarkets these days, 400 pesos for a kilo of shrimps is a good deal. So there I was, expecting a dinner of steamed beef franks and carrots and beans, until all of a sudden I started craving for a fancy shrimp dinner.
I decided I wanted my shrimps peeled tonight. Recipe-wise I had a myriad of possibilities. So as soon as I peeled the last raw shrimp, I rummaged through our pantry and the refrigerator to narrow down those possibilities. There was an almost full bag of linguini, a couple of tomatoes, squid intended for calamares the next day, crab fat left over from yesterday's steamed rock crabs (alimango), fresh basil, a small block of cheese, and a can of milk. Recipes started churning out from my head for about a fleeting minute until finally I decided on two seafood pasta recipes.
These no-guilt recipes would be my contribution to this year's Lenten Season menu.
Spicy Seafood Linguini is a recipe I intended especially for my Mama. During her most recent medical check-up, she said her doctor expressed concerns about her putting on too much weight so her doctor suggested that she take a fancy to French/Italian cuisine. Olive oil, lean meats, fresh vegetables, that sort of thing. This recipe, inspired by a recipe at the back of a San Remo pasta package (angel hair, I think), in my humble opinion passes for "Italian cuisine". It was quite spicy, nevertheless, the whole family, not just my mom, finished this pasta dish in a jiffy.
Spicy Seafood Linguini
250 grams San Remo linguini, cooked according to package instructions
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 fresh ripe tomatoes, diced
1 cup fresh basil leaves, minced finely or coarsely chopped
1/4 kilo large shrimps
1 medium size squid, cleaned of ink and cut into rings
1/2 cup fat of cooked crab
1 or 2 chiles (labuyo), minced
pinch of salt
fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Freshly grated parmesan cheese for topping
Saute garlic in olive oil. When garlic starts to brown, add tomatoes, basil leaves, shrimps, squid, crab fat, and chiles. Season with salt and pepper. Stir fry until shrimps turn pink. Add cooked pasta and toss until all the ingredients are well-incorporated. Serve with parmesan cheese.
Shrimps and Creamy Pesto Linguini is a spinoff of a recipe for creamy pesto pasta that Fam, a friend of mine, taught me back in college. We cooked this in our dorm and shared it with our dorm mates. We got rave reviews for it so I'd been making it ever since, save for some variations I occasionally made. Pesto, according to onlinedictionary, is defined as "a sauce typically served with pasta; contains crushed basil leaves and garlic and pine nuts and Parmesan cheese in olive oil". I haven't really tried to crush basil leaves for my pesto recipes though. I am not really a purist and fresh basil either minced or chopped works fine for me. Definitions aside, here's my recipe:
Shrimps and Creamy Pesto Linguini
250 grams San Remo Linguini, cooked according to package instructions
2 tbsps. olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1/4 kilo large shrimps
pinch of salt
fresh cracked pepper to taste
3/4 cup basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup evaporated milk
3/4 cup Ques-O cheese, grated
Saute garlic in olive oil until it starts to brown.
Add Shrimps and season with salt and pepper.
Add basil leaves and saute shrimps until they start to turn pink. Add milk.
When milk starts to simmer, lower the heat, then add cheese. Cook in low heat until sauce starts to thicken.
Add pasta and blend well. Cook for about 5 minutes.
Serve with sliced French baguettes.
*Thanks to Robin for the great photos in this post.