I can’t remember for sure, but I believe it was Easter a few years back when Tristan wowed my whole family by eating almost an entire platter of shrimp by himself.
Tails piled high on his plate, he kept popping the things into his mouth, one right after another, never ceasing. Ever since then, he and his shrimp-eating have become a running joke.
It’s not that he’s a regular ol’ Bubba Gump, completely obsessed with shrimp. The guy just likes to eat, okay?
Regardless of his “yeah shrimp is pretty good, I guess” attitude, someone recently gifted him with a wheel of shrimp. Yes, they gave him shrimp as a gift.
That old wheel, which had been collecting icicles in our freezer for the past few months, got its day in the sun this week, when I tried out a recipe I found on Pinterest—Garlic Butter Tomato Shrimp Linguini.
GARLIC BUTTER TOMATO. Say those three ingredients aloud without salivating, I dare you.
Personally, I’m not a fan of linguini—I’m all about that angel hair, son—and with the wedding three months away, Tristan is following a low-carb diet…so, I knew from the get-go that I wouldn’t be cooking pasta up in here. I instead opted for spaghetti squash. Other than that, I pretty much stuck to the recipe, only changing it up when it came to cooking the shrimp. Rather than seasoning them with salt and pepper as suggested, I went with crushed red pepper flakes. For one, Tristan likes his food with a bit of heat; and two, it reminded me of that scene from Mrs. Doubtfire. You know, the one where she gets away with attempted murder…
Aside from seasoning the shrimp differently, I also started off with cooked shrimp, rather than raw as in the recipe. I should’ve just heated those bad boys up for a few seconds, but I instead decided to scorch them on the cast iron skillet cuz it’s all about that char game around here. Also, I have no clue what I’m doing.
Let me tell you…re-cooking already cooked shrimp…
Overcooked shrimp is bad. Real bad.
And how did I know they were overcooked? Well, I didn’t. I mean I knew the texture was way too rubbery because I’m not an idiot, but I just assumed it was the freezer burn. It wasn’t until I debriefed with my good ol’ mama the next day that I figured it out (more accurately, she figured it out):
C IS FOR COOKED. O IS FOR OVERCOOKED. How genius is that, guys? For the record, my pan was like a bowl of Cheerios…
Overcooked shrimp aside, everything else in the meal was real good. The sauce in particular was quite tasty, I think because of the TABLESPOONS OF BUTTER that get mixed in at the end.
For the record, here’s the whole shebang:
Garlic Butter Tomato Shrimp on Spaghetti Squash
Slightly (very slightly) modified from Savory Nothings’ recipe. My changes are in bold.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- A wheel of frozen shrimp cocktail if you have it on hand like I did…otherwise, the original recipe calls for 16 ounces of king prawns and heaven help you I would stick with the original
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ cup white wine vinegar (I didn’t have any red wine)
- 1 and ½ 14.5oz cans of chopped tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon hot smoked paprika
- Pinch of sugar
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Red pepper flakes to taste
- Spaghetti squash, halved and roasted, flesh-side down at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Sauté the onion over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking for another minute. Add the chopped shrimp and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and mix in the tomato paste, stirring frequently for a minute or so. Deglaze with the white wine vinegar and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, paprika, sugar, salt, and pepper and simmer for 15-20 minutes on low heat.
- Scoop the flesh from your roasted spaghetti squash into a bowl and set aside.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Season the shrimp with salt and red pepper flakes to taste and sear them BRIEFLY on the cast iron, being careful not to overcook them. Learn from my mistake! If they start curling into o’s you’re doing it wrong.
- Stir the butter into the finished sauce and toss with the spaghetti squash and shrimp.
- Eat eat eat!