Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Shrimp and Spinach Pasta

Sometimes the simplest pasta sauces are the tastiest. Briny shrimp and fresh lemon were made for each other, and lots of fresh spinach adds wonderfully earthy flavor—and a whole lot of nutrition—to the dish. I rounded out the sauce with just a hint of tomato, in the form of paste for a little thickening. Butter finishes it with a silky touch, and dinner is on the table in the time it takes to boil the pasta.

I used rotini here because the short spirals grab and hold a thinner sauce better than long noodles. Bowties or small shells would work too.

Tip: Lemon zest refers only to the yellow outer flesh of the fruit, not the white pith that separates it from the juicy flesh. And zesting is easy: Use a vegetable peeler very lightly to remove two or three thin strips, thin finely chop them. Done.

Peel the zest 
Finely chop

Serves 4

  • 8 oz rotini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb peeled, deveined large shrimp
  • 1 large bunch spinach, coarsely chopped (about 8 packed cups)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp finely chopped lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

  1. Cook the rotini in salted, boiling water until al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain.
  2. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the shrimp and sauté 3 minutes.
  3. Add the spinach, chicken broth, and lemon zest and bring to a simmer, stirring until the spinach wilts, 2-3 minutes.
  4. Stir in the tomato paste, lemon juice, and butter and season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.

Shrimp Beginning to Cook 
Spinach Added
Wilted Spinach 
Tomato Paste, Lemon Juice, and Butter Added
Add the drained pasta to the pan and stir to combine. Divide among 4 bowls and serve right away.

Shrimp and Spinach Pasta

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