Pasta and shrimp made quick

Shrimp and Leeks with Angel Hair Pasta.

Shrimp and Leeks with Angel Hair Pasta.

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Stash the menus and put the phone down.

Ordering in isn't necessarily faster when you're tired or rushed to get dinner for two on the table.

Before someone can get to your door with pizza delivery you can prepare a delicious meal - that is, if you have a few staples in the kitchen.

If you're speed cooking choose angel hair pasta, which cuts a couple of minutes from your dinner deadline.

Frozen shrimp is another asset since you don't have to thaw the seafood before cooking. Peeled raw shrimp are your best option to save time.

Condiments also bring instant eye appeal and flavor to simple dishes. Mustard, mayonnaise, roasted peppers, olives, capers, sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts merit space. Open a jar or two and you're halfway to a meal.

The recipe given here for shrimp and leeks with Angel Hair Pasta takes about 20 minutes start to finish.

Follow the directions or add quick and easy variations.

For example, switch from leek to red onion or substitute kalamata olives for the capers. Add color by stirring in a quarter cup of roasted red pepper strips. Finish with a crunch a pine nuts just before serving.

Shrimp and Leeks with Angel Hair Pasta

Makes 2 servings

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

4 ounces angel hair pasta


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup finely chopped leek, white part only (from 1 leek)

1⁄2 pound peeled medium-size raw shrimp

1⁄4 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine

1 tablespoon capers

1⁄8 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley

Cook pasta in a large pot of vigorously boiling salted water until tender. Drain pasta, reserving 1⁄4 cup of the pasta cooking water.

While pasta is cooking, pour oil into large skillet. Heat over medium heat. Add leek and cook for 3 minutes or until turning translucent. Add shrimp to skillet in a single layer. Cook for 2 minutes per side (longer if shrimp are frozen) until shrimp turn pink.

Add vermouth to skillet and scrape up any browned bits. Add 2 tablespoons reserved pasta liquid to make a slightly thickened sauce. Stir in capers, pepper and parsley. Stir in pasta and heat through. If mixture is dry, add remaining pasta water.

Each serving has: 471 calories; 10 grams total fat; 28 grams protein; 52 grams carbohydrates; 150.5 milligrams cholesterol; 161 milligrams sodium and 2 grams dietary fiber.


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