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Baked Penne with Shrimp and Peas

Pink shrimp and green peas look and taste good together. When you slice the shrimp in half vertically, it helps them cook evenly and it is also easier to distribute them throughout the pasta.

NotesTips

I recommend using organic peas, because they are free of chemicals and pesticide residues.

I like to use medium (41 to 50 per pound/500 g) shrimp in this recipe. When they are halved lengthwise, they can be evenly distributed throughout the pasta, giving an impression of abundance. However, you may use larger shrimp, also cut in half lengthwise.

I do not recommend refrigerating this recipe and baking it the following day. It is best made and enjoyed on the same day, because the flavor and texture of seafood diminish when it is reheated.Variations

Substitute pennette, cut ziti or fusilli for the penne.

Serves4 to 6

Cooking Methodbaking, sauteeing

CostModerate

Easy

Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationlactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturesavory

Type of Dishbaked pasta, pasta

Ingredients

  • Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C)
  • 13- by 9- by 2-inch (3 L) baking dish, lightly greased with butter
  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 90 mL
  • ¼ cup diced onion 50 mL
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes 250 mL
  • 1 cup blanched fresh peas or frozen peas, defrosted (see lips, left) 250 mL
  • 2 tbsp hand-torn fresh basil leaves 25 mL
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ cups halved (lengthwise) peeled, deveined medium shrimp, heads and tails off (12 oz/375 g) 375 mL
  • ½ cup dry white Italian wine 125 mL
  • 1 tbsp salt 15 mL
  • 1 lb dried penne (see Notes) 500 g
  • ¼ cup dry white Italian breadcrumbs, divided 50 mL

Instructions

  1. In a covered pasta pot over high heat, bring water to a rapid boil.

  2. In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and tomatoes and cook, stirring, until onion is soft and tender, about 3 minutes. Add peas and basil and cook, stirring, until vegetables are soft and tender, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add shrimp and wine, stir and cook until shrimp are half-cooked (barely opaque). Remove from heat and set aside.

  3. Add salt and penne to the boiling water and cook, uncovered, over high heat until pasta is almost al dente. Scoop out about 1 cup (250 mL) of the pasta cooking water and set aside. Drain pasta.

  4. Return sauté pan to low heat. Add 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the reserved pasta water and penne and, using a wooden spoon, toss to coat evenly, adding more pasta water if necessary.

  5. Sprinkle prepared dish with half of the breadcrumbs. Add penne mixture and sprinkle with remaining breadcrumbs.

  6. Bake in preheated oven until top is golden brown, about 35 minutes. Serve immediately.

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