Pasta week: Shrimp and lemon-butter sauce over brown rice penne

After a day of convalescing, I was ready to return this evening with quinoa spaghetti in a creamy avocado sauce. The problem was I could not figure out whether my avocado was rotten or okay to use. Based on the guidelines offered by Eat By Date, I had what amounted to bad fruit.

That was annoying, but okay since I had missed a day this week and had a backup plan. After 5-6 minutes of running warm water, I had a batch of peeled, deveined and semi-defrosted shrimp. Since we had a quinoa-based pasta on Tuesday, I went for a different variety tonight: brown rice. Jovial mills brown rice into flour for gluten-free pasta in five different shapes. I went with the penne when I picked up a box at Green Planet Grocery.

Thus far, I’ve been happy with the alternate grain pastas from this week. That streak ended tonight.

THE BROWN RICE FILE

RAW FLAVOR: Fine, at first. Two or three minutes after swallowing the piece of uncooked pasta, I found myself struggling with grit and a weird coating in my mouth. It was a little disgusting, though nothing that a few swishes of water could not remedy.

STRAIGHT FROM THE POT: Reaching al dente was touch and go. The box said nine minutes to cook, but the taste test at 8, 9, and 10 minutes failed. After 11 minutes, I drained it and found the pasta just past the point of perfect.

DID THE WIFE APPROVE?: The Wife offered no opinion in either direction. The Baby was trying to paint her head with yogurt.

VALUE: $4.79 for 12 oz.

The pasta held the sauce nicely and I really have no complaints with the flavor. The aftertaste is where I found myself disappointed. There should have been enough garlic and lemon in this recipe to change the flavor of the pasta considerably. Yet, I had that same aftertaste from the raw noodle.

That said, the shrimp and sauce came out nice.

Shrimp and lemon-butter sauce over brown rice penne
With components from the Cookin’ Canuck

  • 12 oz. brown rice pasta
  • 3/4 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • grated zest and juice of one lemon
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced and divided in half

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees and bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Salt the water and cook the pasta to the package directions.

Mix the salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, half of the garlic and olive oil in a medium-sized bowl. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Spread the shrimp evenly on a baking sheet and roast for 5 minutes.

Combine the melted butter, lemon juice, the rest of the garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix with a spoon. Set aside.

Drain the pasta and add to a serving bowl, top with the shrimp and butter sauce. Toss with a serving spoon and serve hot.

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