There’s a new guy in my life. And I’ve fallen in love. Again. Another dark brown-eyed, silky smooth haired, cute as a bug Terrier.
Gucci, a Biewer Terrier, came to visit for a few days and we’re all smitten. Especially Suzie Q.
I walked into my youngest daughter’s room to check on our handsome little guest. He was as snug as a bug in one of my old willow clothes baskets. My daughter had padded it down with lots of soft, fluffy blankets and set the basket at her feet while she finished her homework. Gucci barely opened his sleepy eyes when I peeked in her room. He gave me what I could swear was a half-smile, and then went back to sleep.
As you can tell I love dogs. Actually I love most animals. Except snakes. But those aren’t animals. Thankfully. And I don’t care for rodents of any kind especially after the squirrel incident. That’s a long story.
But to make it short… years ago, a very large and wooly, less than friendly squirrel decided I had invaded his portion of the parking lot. He made that very clear when he started slowly walking toward me, watching me intently with those brown beady and terrifying eyes. I thought I might be in a Stephen King movie.
No matter how far I ran, he ran after me. Finally jumping on my leg and scaring me speechless. Actually, I was screaming.
After doing a little jig and lots of leg shaking around my side of the parking lot, the less than friendly squirrel decided I was too much trouble and let go of my pant leg. I can truly say this squirrel incident was one of the most horrific animal experiences of my life.
Although I may need to re-think “most horrific”. I’ve been bitten on the bum by my pet pig, bucked off my horse into a ditch (because she wanted to chase the hay truck), had a little standoff on my front porch with a cantankerous raccoon and the ONE camping trip my family took when I was a child, ended after the first day. Yes…a bear attacked our camp. I should have known early on that my love of animals came with a price.
Maybe that’s why I only have dogs. Though I’d love a miniature donkey. And I’ve been rallying the Bennett Crew for a chicken coop. Ranger Craig is always telling me I need to live on a farm. One day.
You may be wondering how in the heck is she going to bring this post back to the subject of food? I’ll show you a picture.
I whipped up this little dish while Gucci was visiting. I had gone a little nuts with the cherry tomatoes and decided to roast the last two pints for a lovely pasta dish.
What could be more delicious with roasted cherry tomatoes than fresh basil, lemon and shrimp scampi. All ladled beautifully over linguine. A perfect spring meal!
Spicy Shrimp Linguine with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Fresh Basil and Lemon
1 lb linguine, cooked according to package directions
1 lb shrimp, larger size, peeled and de-veined (preferably fresh and not farm raised as the farm raised can be mushy)
2 pints cherry tomatoes
1 bunch fresh basil, chiffinade (cut into ribbons) Or hand torn
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ pint heavy cream
¼ cup white wine
½ teaspoon roasted red chili paste (Thai Kitchen) or a good pinch red pepper flakes or even a good splash of Sriracha hot sauce will do the trick.
Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
Drizzle the tomatoes with a tablespoon or two of oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet and roast in the oven until wilted, about 10 minutes.
Remove them from the oven and set aside.
To prepare the shrimp: Heat a skillet on medium high heat and add two tablespoons of oil. Season the shrimp with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar, to aid in carmelization.
As soon as the oil is hot but not smoking, add the shrimp in a single layer.
If your pan isn’t large enough you may need cook your shrimp in two batches. Let the shrimp cook on one side and then flip them to cook on the other side. You’re looking for some nice golden brown color on your shrimp. Total cook time should be about 2-4 minutes depending on the size of the shrimp. Once the shrimp are done, remove to a plate or bowl and reserve.
To prepare the sauce: In a sauce pan or cleaned skillet, add the butter to the pan over medium high heat. Once the butter is frothy add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds. Then whisk in the white wine and heavy cream. Turn the heat down to medium and let the sauce simmer to thicken a bit. Don’t worry if the sauce doesn’t look thick and creamy. This is a “lightly” sauced pasta dish allowing the flavors of the ingredients to shine through.
Whisk in the chili paste or sriracha, lemon juice and zest and take the pan off the heat. Taste for salt and pepper.
Fold in the fresh basil and toss the sauce with the pasta.
Before serving, lightly toss the pasta with the shrimp and tomatoes and add one more drizzle of really good olive oil if desired.
Garnish with fresh chopped basil and shredded parmesan. Enjoy!