Thursday, August 14, 2014

Linguine with Artichokes, Shrimp, and Mascarpone

I'm still working on the skunk debacle (nice start to a food blog post, ya think?)  In fact, when I went out this morning to edge and mow, guess what I found?  A hint:  a dead critter waiting for Jim to get home and dispose of.  Yikes.  I don't know if Lindie killed it the other night, or if this is a new one.  Creepy.  And yes, our home still smells.

But on a brighter note.....!!!!  I have an incredibly lucious pasta dish to share with you!  As I mentioned earlier, I came across some mascarpone cheese at a great price.  I rarely use the stuff because it is a bit pricey, so I had to find several uses for it.  This is an Emeril Lagasse recipe which I am posting exactly as I found it; however, for my/our tastes, these are the adjustments I would make for our table:

*  I cut the recipe in half.
*  We Americans serve way too large of portions.  And since I try to keep my pasta dishes to just a few times a month since I refuse to use whole-grain pasta, I usually make our pasta servings just 2 ounces each.  That is perfect for this dish so you get more shrimp and artichokes instead of too much pasta.
*  I use artichoke bottoms instead of artichoke hearts.  I find that the "hearts" still have some of the prickly leaves on them and I think the name is actually is misnomer.  The bottoms are actually the "heart," it's just the meat of the 'choke.  Emeril's recipe states to quarter the hearts, but I cut my 'choke bottoms in 8ths (bite-sized).
*  Any size of shrimp will work with this recipe, just adjust the cooking time so you don't over/undercook the shrimp.
*  I barely used the tiniest dash of cayenne, but it was still too hot for Jim.  We're very sensitive to cayenne, so if you are also, be careful.
*  I would double the amount of tarragon, but the, I love fresh tarragon.

P.S.  After making this and the Fig Toasts, I still had a bit of mascarpone leftover.  Never letting something so good go to waste, I happened to have a bit of marinara sauce I was getting ready to freeze, so I folded the cheese into the sauce for a wonderful smooth and creamy marinara.  Yummmm!


2 Tbsp EVOO
14 cup minced shallot
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 (15 oz) cans artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon leaves
8 oz mascarpone cheese
1 pound linguine, cooked in salted water until al dente, drained, and 1/4 cup cooking liquid reserved
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

In a 14" saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  When hot, add the shallot and pepper and cook until the shallot is soft and translucent, about 1 minute.  Add the wine, bring to a brisk simmer, and cook until the wine is almost completely evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Add the artichoke hearts, shrimp, salt, and cayenne and cook the shrimp for 1 1/2 minutes per side.  Add the lemon zest, tarragon, and mascarpone and cook, stirring, until thoroughly incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the cooked pasta and reserved pasta-cooking liquid to the pan and cook, tossing, until the pasta is warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the Parmesan, toss to combine, and serve immediately.

NOTE:  If you do not have a 14" saute pan, you may want to cook this dish in two batches.

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