If summer was to have a flavour, it would taste like this burst tomato pasta. It's got all the goodies: cherry tomatoes, lemon, basil, and of course, tons of garlic. Throw in some beautiful Argentinian shrimp and you've got yourself a gorgeous summer meal, best enjoyed with a crisp white wine.
Pasta, I'm not going to lie, is likely to be my last meal on Earth. I could literally eat it every single day and not get tired of it. I love everything about it, the size, the texture, the diversity of flavour and shapes, all of it. So I've spent many (MANY) years experimenting with all those different aspects. This recipe is a particular favorite, as the ingredients and preparation are so incredibly simple.
Let's start with the basics. If you're going to have a sauce with cherry tomatoes as the main ingredient, you need garlic. Like a lot of garlic. It's just what has to happen. This recipe uses four cloves, but feel free to increase that if you need too. I'm not judging. Also, butter. Just lots of butter.
Because I wanted to keep this sauce super basic, we're sticking with white wine. It's nice and light, add some acidity and depth of flavour, plus perfectly compliments the lemons that get added later on. If you're looking to spice up your life, add some hot pepper flakes and enjoy some of the balance it brings to the dish.
My absolutely favorite part about this sauce is that the bulk of the liquid is made up of the juice from the burst cherry tomatoes. The flavour is so incredible, and it gets bound together with the pasta water and the parmesan cheese so it coats the pasta evenly, and deliciously. The flavour is bright, acidic, savory, and oh-so-summer.
Finally, the Argentinian shrimp make this dish feel super luxurious despite the simplicity of the ingredients. If you've never had them before, this is the perfect opportunity to try them out, as the other flavors of the dish won't overwhelm the delicate crustaceans. Argentinian shrimp are caught off the coast of, you guessed it, Argentina. Unlike other species of shrimp, the are red when they are pulled out of the ocean, and when they're raw (so the shrimp turning pink isn't necessarily an indicator of doneness). They have a super sweet flavour and a beautiful meaty texture that some have compared to lobster. Once I tried them, I haven't looked back.
Burst Tomato Pasta with Shrimp and Lemon
- 1 lb your favorite pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb Argentinian shrimp, peeled and devined
- salt & pepper
- 4 tablespoon butter divided
- 4 cloves garlic diced
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- ½ C dry white wine
- 1 lemon juice and zest
- ⅓ C pasta water
- ½ C grated parmesan cheese
- ½ C fresh basil leaves, torn
- Lemon zest and parmesan for garnish
- Cook your pasta according to package instructions. Reserve ⅓ C of pasta water.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil. Season your shrimp with salt and pepper. When the oil is heated through, add the shrimp in a single layer. Cook for two minutes per side (NO LONGER, it will continue cooking later when you add it back to the sauce). Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add 2 tablespoon of butter, hot pepper flakes if using, and the garlic. Cook for 1 minute, until garlic is fragrant.
- Add cherry tomatoes and deglaze pan with white wine. Allow the tomatoes to cook down for 10 minutes, until they have burst and released their juices.
- Add lemon zest, juice, the remaining two tablespoons of butter, pasta water, and parmesan cheese. Taste for seasoning, and add the shrimp back to the sauce to warm it up.
- Add the basil and toss with your pasta.
- Serve garnished with more cheese and lemon zest. Enjoy!