Linguini with Shrimp, Asparagus and Basil

When books and magazines start taking over our coffee table, Jeff always looks at me. I know the look. Half of the clutter is my cook books and food magazines. The funny thing about that is I don’t even subscribe to any food magazines. I just hold onto my old ones and rediscover them every now and then.

I started leafing through one of my old Bon Appetits the other day. In May 2007, a photographer snapped a pic of this dish in front of the Sydney Opera House and made it the cover photo. I’ve made it for family and friends about a half dozen times since the issue came out. I made it again last night. We already had some asparagus, lemon and several pots of basil growing outside on the deck. Basil is what makes this dish.  The only wild card is the hot pepper. Red jalapenos, I’ve found, can vary in their degrees of heat. Maybe it has to do with shelf life, who knows. This time I used fresno chiles instead, with good results. If you can’t find a red chile, settle for green. The taste will be the same. The visual is all that will be lacking.

Linguini with Shrimp, Asparagus and Basil
Bon Appetit, May 2007

8 ounces linguine
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped red jalapeño chiles
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon butter
12 uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails intact
12 slender asparagus, trimmed, cut diagonally into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 cups (packed) fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced, plus additional for garnish
2 lemon wedges

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and jalapeño; sauté 1 minute. Add wine and butter; boil 2 minutes. Add shrimp, asparagus, and lemon juice. Toss until asparagus is just tender and shrimp are just opaque in center, about 3 minutes.

Drain pasta and add to skillet; add 2 cups sliced basil leaves and toss until basil wilts and sauce coats pasta, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Divide pasta between 2 plates. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and lemon wedges and serve.


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