Tender shrimp and asparagus go perfectly together in a light, alfredo-style wine sauce flavored with fresh dill weed. The sweetness of the white balsamic vinegar compliments the delicate flavor of the shrimp. Roasted red peppers add color and vegetable goodness. Serve with a side salad and bread for a complete meal. Measure out your ingredients in advance. This recipe goes together quickly.
- 1/2 pound of choice (linguine suggested)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup minced sweet onion
- 2 to 3 medium garlic cloves (pressed or finely-minced)
- 1/4 cup sweet white (Chardonnay suggested)
- 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar (see notes below)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (reserve half of the lemon for garnish)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 pound asparagus (tough ends removed, sliced diagonally into 1-inch pieces)
- 24 jumbo (31 to 40 count) raw shrimp (thawed and peeled)
- 1/2 cup sliced roasted red peppers
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill weed (or substitute 1/2 teaspoon dried)
- Optional: lemon, dill weed, and additional Parmesan (for garnish)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and stir to prevent sticking. Cook pasta according to manufacturer's suggestion, usually about 12 minutes. Once the pasta is in the pot, begin the shrimp and asparagus.
Heat a large, deep, heavy skillet over medium heat. When skillet is hot, add butter and swirl to coat the pan. Saute onion until softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 additional minute, stirring often.
Carefully add wine, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice to the onions. Cook, while stirring, until liquid is reduced by half. Add heavy cream and asparagus. Stir until bubbling and slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
Add shrimp and cook, stirring often, until shrimp turn pink. Do not overcook or shrimp will become rubbery. Remove from heat and stir in roasted red peppers, grated Parmesan cheese, and dill weed. You shouldn't need it, but now is the time to taste and add salt to suit your palate.
Stir a couple of spoonsful of the sauce into the cooked, drained pasta to keep it from sticking together.
Serve shrimp, asparagus, and sauce over your favorite hot cooked pasta (linguine is my favorite) and garnish with remaining lemon slices, dill sprigs, and additional grated Parmesan cheese.
• Please do not add oil to the pasta cooking water. Oil will seal the exterior of the pasta and the sauce will slide off. This sauce is not meant to be extremely thick, such as a cheese sauce.
• If you are unable to use wine, a non-alcoholic wine may be substituted.
• Take note that white balsamic vinegar is used here. Traditional red balsamic vinegar will discolor the sauce. White balsamic vinegar is readily available in most chain grocery stores. If you cannot find it, substitute with additional sweet white wine and reduce the lemon juice to 1/2 Tablespoon.
• Frozen asparagus may be substituted for fresh. When using frozen, it should be added to the recipe at the end with the red peppers and cooked just until they are heated through.
• You may certainly substitute smaller shrimp if you wish. You will need about 1 pound, weighed after peeling. Smaller shrimp will cook faster, of course, so take special care not to overcook them.
• You may substitute red bell peppers for the roasted red peppers. If you do so, add them with the shrimp and asparagus.
• Do not rinse the pasta after cooking. Simply drain it thoroughly.
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