If I were to make a list of everything I love about springtime, having an asparagus patch just a few feet from our back door would be right at the top of that list. I love the fact that I can pick fresh asparagus for that evening’s dinner.
A few years ago, my Husband and I went to one of our favorite restaurants in downtown Ft. Wayne. I ordered shrimp scampi pasta, which turned out to be absolutely fantastic. I requested the recipe from the chef and was quickly turned down. A few days later, I decided to try and create my own version of shrimp scampi pasta. I started with the basics, adding a little of this and a pinch of that and soon I had a winner! The asparagus tips paired with the fresh mint and basil is simply delicious. I often prepare this dish during my cooking classes and it quickly becomes a favorite among my students.
Shrimp Scampi Pasta with Asparagus tips
1 teaspoon salt
1pound asparagus (using tips only)
Extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup packed fresh mint
1/4 packed fresh basil leaves
12 oz. shelled and deveined large shrimp (rinse well)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 box (13.25 oz) whole-grain- blend spaghetti
Heat a large, covered pot of water to boiling. Add salt to water. (You need for the water to be very salty) Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat oil, and begin sautéing onion and garlic. Cut lemon in half and place in pan to caramelize it. Add asparagus and crushed red pepper. Cook until asparagus is tender crisp. Add shrimp and continue to cook until shrimp turns opaque. Lightly salt and squeeze caramelized lemon over mixture. Rough chop mint and basil. Stir in. Drain pasta and add to mixture. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over pasta.