Pasta with shrimp, arugula, lemon and chili

Pasta with shrimp, arugula, lemon and chili

We discovered a great trick a few weeks ago that not only saves energy (electricity/gas) when you’re cooking pasta, it also greatly reduces the amount of heat and steam released during the cooking process (which is great for keeping your house cool on a hot day). All we did was add the pasta to a pot of rapidly boiling water for just 2 minutes, stirred, then turned off the heat and put a lid on. After 10 minutes the residual heat plus the trapped steam cooks the pasta to perfection.

Since discovering this “trick” we’ve tried out the technique using several different pasta shapes — from fettuccine and fusilli to spaghetti and penne. Each time the pasta was cooked perfectly!

You can use this method to cook the pasta in this dish, or you can use the conventional method, either way we think you’ll really enjoy this recipe. Once you’ve got the pasta cooking, it simply involves sautéing some fresh shrimp with chili, lemon zest, garlic and capers. After the pasta is cooked, you add some chopped arugula (rocket) to the bottom of the pot and top it with the hot drained pasta and shrimp (which wilts the arugula). Then you simply add a little lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil before tossing and serving.

If you’re not a fan of shrimp, you can make this dish with sautéed scallops or chicken. You can also use fresh baby spinach leaves rather than arugula, and dried red chili flakes as an alternative to fresh red chili.

Pasta with shrimp, arugula, lemon and chili
serves 2
A tangy and spicy pasta dish with succulent sautéed shrimp, arugula (rocket), lemon, chili, garlic and capers.
7 oz (210g) spaghetti
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
16 large uncooked shrimp—peeled
2 cloves garlic—finely chopped
1 small red chili—deseeded and finely chopped (or half a teaspoon of dried chili flakes)
1 teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest
2 teaspoons capers—rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups arugula (rocket)—washed and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
COOK the pasta in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water according to package directions. WHILE the pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the shrimp for 2 minutes. ADD the garlic, chili, lemon zest, capers, salt and pepper and cook a further 2 minutes. DRAIN the cooked pasta, reserving 2 tablespoons of cooking water in the pot. PUT the arugula in the bottom of the pot and top with the hot pasta, shrimp mixture, reserved tablespoon of olive oil and the lemon juice. TOSS together gently to combine well and heat through.