Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Garlic Shrimp with White Beans and Roasted Tomatoes

Garlic Shrimp with White Beans and Roasted Tomatoes

I had planned on taking today to write up a long overdue entry about a delicious sandwich that we ate weeks months ago, but I am too excited about last night's dinner to think about any other dish.  So tomorrow I will talk about sandwiches, but today I am going to discuss garlicky shrimp and sweet caramelized tomatoes, all tossed together with creamy cannellini beans and tons of basil (my how I wish we had some leftovers).

I love to plan meals ahead of time, searching through recipes and making long, subdivided shopping lists and weekly menus, but this recipe came together as a bit of an accident.  I had picked up some cipollini onions and baby roma tomatoes to make SK's Roasted Tomatoes and Cipollini, but then I lost my desire to make it right away and they ended up being passed over in favor of other recipes.  I realized yesterday that I would have to use the ingredients soon or toss them (and I am way too cheap for that), but I still wanted something a little different.  Then I remembered the bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer, which I had planned on using for some shrimp pasta one of these days, and it just seemed like a natural pairing.

Roasted Tomatoes and Cipollini

Spicy shrimp pasta is one of my favorite quick and and easy meals.  It is easily adaptable and can be made from ingredients that I always have on hand.  The basic outline of the recipe is from Rachael Ray: olive oil, anchovies, tons of garlic, and red pepper flakes.  Sometimes I will add some lemon, and maybe some artichokes or grape tomatoes.  It was the addition of the tomatoes that made me think that the shrimp would go well with roasted tomatoes and onions.  I thought about tossing the shrimp and roasted vegetables with my usual pasta, but then I decided to change it up by going with the white beans.  I could tell that that was a good call when Andrew, who loves shrimp, said that the beans were his favorite part of the meal.

While I loved the flavors of this dish, I will change it up a bit next time.  I find that the whole roasted onions are just too strong for me, and next time I will roast the tomatoes alone.  It will lose a bit of the sweet onion flavor, but the garlic is so strong in this dish that it won't really matter.  This is not a subtle flavor, it is a more of a slap-you-across-the-face love note to the stinking rose, so if you don't like garlic: a) what is wrong with you? and b) don't make this dish.  But if you do spicy, garlicky shrimp, cannellini beans, and roasted tomatoes, give this a try soon.  And invite me over, please.

Hot People Garlic Shrimp with White Beans and Roasted Tomatoes

Garlic Shrimp with White Beans and Roasted Tomatoes
Inspired by and adapted from various Rachael Ray recipes and Smitten Kitchen

This dish would be delicious with a big green salad and crusty bread, or just piled up in a bowl, the way we ate it.

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pint baby roma or cherry tomatoes
2 cups cipollini onions, blanched and peeled (optional)
kosher salt
1 pound shrimp, thawed if frozen, peeled and deveined (I used medium shrimp)
1 tsp. anchovy paste
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup slivered basil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place tomatoes and onions (if using) in a small baking dish or sheet and toss with one tablespoon of oil and a pinch of kosher salt.  Roast for 45 minutes to an hour until the vegetables are very tender and golden brown.

When the tomatoes are almost ready, heat a large skillet over low heat and add one tablespoon of olive oil.  Squeeze in about a teaspoon of anchovy paste (or you can use a few oil-packed anchovy fillets) and allow it to melt into the oil.  Grate or finely mince the garlic and add to the pan along with a the crushed red pepper.  Cook this for a minute or two, until the garlic is lightly golden and fragrant, then increase the heat to medium and add the shrimp.

When the shrimp is almost cooked through (which will take a minute or two for small shrimp, possibly three for the larger shrimp), stir in the beans and cook 1 minute more.  Turn off the heat, then add the roasted tomatoes and all of their juices.  Top with the slivered basil and serve.

This feeds 2 to 3 people as a main dish.  It can be stretched further by adding an extra can of beans.

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