Whole Wheat Penne with Shrimp Limoncello

Purple sweet potato, Hawaiian taro, Philippine purple yam, lavender, macadamia nuts, key lime, Meyer lemon, limoncello and dark chocolate. As the song goes, these are my favorite things, to cook with that is, but not necessarily in that order. I am always on the lookout for recipes using my favorite ingredients and I am also always trying different ways to use them.

I am happy that I started this blog,  as it inspires me to record what I have been cooking and crafting. I don’t plan family menus. I don’t measure ingredients except when it involves baking. Hence it was very difficult for me to teach my daughter how to cook. With the blog, I am now conscious of measurements. Most of the dishes I make at home depends on what we have in stock and chances are, the dish will not be repeated again, at least not exactly the same. I like to wing it, so to speak. As I was about to finish cooking this, I thought that since the dish has citrus flavor, maybe a shot of limoncello will accentuate the citrus flavor even more, so I reached for my Italian Limoncello stash. Back in the Philippines, I had eaten shrimps cooked unwashed  and alive just moments after they were caught from the family fish farm, the salt came from the sea water  and the shrimp was just naturally sweet. The limoncello added a subtle sweetness to the shrimps.  I was pleasantly surprised and I remember  the sweetness of fresh shrimps back home.

These are what I used.

  • 1 lb head-on shrimps. Remove the shell, leaving the head-fat on and the last tail segment. Slit the back and de-vein. It is convenient to use the supermarket shelled shrimps but it will not produce the reddish sauce from the shrimp fat.
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/4 c parsley, chopped.
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lime and 1 lemon, squeeze to produce 1/2 cup
  •  1/2 c pasta water
  • 1/2 c limoncello
  • 3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 box whole wheat penne

Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.

  • Heat a pan. Add the oil and garlic. Saute the garlic until lightly browned.
  • Keeping the heat on high, add the mushrooms, shrimps  and parsley, reserve some for serving. Stir until the shrimps are slightly pink.
  • Add the citrus, pasta water and limoncello. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove the shrimps to avoid over-cooking.
  • Add the cooked pasta, stir and let it absorb some of the liquid.  Serve immediately topping with some parsley.

This is an easy and quick summer pasta.

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