Shrimp Week: Liz's Famous Shrimp and Vegetable Spaghetti - Sweet Potato Chronicles - Sweet Potato Chronicles

Shrimp Week: Liz's Famous Shrimp and Vegetable Spaghetti

This is my friend Liz. As friends go, Liz is pretty amaz­ing. She pos­sesses a lot of the quin­tes­sen­tial great friend qual­i­ties like being a patient lis­tener, sym­pa­thetic and she never judges. How­ever, what I love most about Liz is that she lives her life on the bright side–She is a con­stant force of grate­ful­ness and hap­pi­ness. I’ve actu­ally never met any one like her until my hus­band and I bought our tiny beach cot­tage.

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Pho­tos by Maya Visynei

Ini­tially, Liz was just the down-to-earth, nature-loving neigh­bor with the revolv­ing door of friends and fam­ily. Her cot­tage was always lively with the most unex­pected of out­door activ­i­ties. (Like the time I woke up to a tight rope strung between our trees.) How­ever, Liz is the calm eye of the chaotic storm of activ­ity that sur­rounds her. But it wasn’t until I had Scar­lett and started spend­ing my summer's liv­ing at the beach that I was able to really get to know Liz. As a mom of three grown kids, Liz has been through all of it. Her expe­ri­enced and lov­ing per­spec­tive has helped ground my most emo­tional and ridicu­lous mom moments. It's also help­ful that, at the end of the day, Liz always has my favorite cock­tail wait­ing for me on her deck.

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The other won­der­ful thing about Liz is that she’s a fierce cook. A per­sonal chef in her home­town of Van­cou­ver, Liz has this crazy abil­ity to, in the blink of an eye, whip together a meal that can feed an army of cot­tagers. (An aver­age night is about 10 peo­ple.) There's never any sign of prep, no bang­ing pots and cer­tainly no stress–Just hearty, fresh, sim­ple meals that sat­isfy weary and sun-soaked cot­tagers. In other words, her food is pure bliss.

I'm not really sure how I was able to get Liz to not only share this recipe but attend the photo shoot for it. With sum­mer days in Canada as fleet­ing as a break in week­end grid­lock, Liz rarely ven­tures from her sum­mer retreat and cer­tainly not to the hus­tle and heat of the city. In addi­tion, Liz does not cook from recipes. It's all expe­ri­ence, rou­tine and intu­ition, so nail­ing her down for a proper step-by-step that could be shared with SPC read­ers was a pretty tough task. As she walked me through the method for this dish, she shared all kinds of alter­na­tives. "Tell them they can use any veg­eta­bles they like!" she yelled to me from the tiny stu­dio kitchen. "If they don't like shrimp, they can just omit it." "Men­tion to them they don't have to use the arti­chokes either." As she ticked off instruc­tions, a tea towel dan­gling from her shoul­der (her cook­ing trade­mark), I felt pretty proud of myself for get­ting her into the stu­dio. After all, this recipe is exactly the kind of dish we love at SPC–seasonal, easy and totally adaptable.

I guess this means I owe Liz a drink.

Shrimp and Veg­etable Spaghetti
Serves 8 to 10

1 yel­low zuc­chini, sliced in half length­wise
2 por­to­bello mush­rooms, stems removed, caps scooped and halved and then cut cross­wise into sliced
1 red pep­per, sliced into quar­ters
1/4 cup olive oil
2 table­spoons bal­samic vine­gar
1 table­spoon fresh chopped oregano
1 table­spoon fresh chopped rose­mary
5 cloves gar­lic, chopped and divided
1 1b. thawed peeled deveined shrimp
1 table­spoon but­ter
1 box of spaghetti
2 large meaty toma­toes, sliced into chunks
1 con­tainer mar­i­nated arti­choke hearts, plus a driz­zle of its oil
1 cup feta cheese, plus some of its water
1 hand­ful fresh chopped basil

Method

Toss the zuc­chini, mush­rooms and red pep­per with 2 table­spoons of the olive oil, bal­samic vine­gar, 2 cloves of the gar­lic, oregano and rose­mary to coat. Place veg­eta­bles on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and grill, turn veg­eta­bles once and cook until ten­der, about 10 to 15 min­utes. Remove to plat­ter and allow to cool slightly so you can han­dle them to slice. (If you are unable to grill the veg­eta­bles, you can roast them in the oven at 400 degrees until they are ten­der, about 30 to 40 min­utes.) Slice the veg­eta­bles into bite size pieces.

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In a large skil­let over medium heat, add but­ter and two cloves of gar­lic and cook until aro­matic, about 1 minute. Add the shrimp and cook until they are pink, about 5 min­utes. Remove the shrimp and juices from the pan and set aside.

Mean­while, in a large saucepan of salted boil­ing water, cook pasta accord­ing to pack­age direc­tions. Drain and place the pasta in a large mix­ing bowl.

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Driz­zle the rest of the olive oil into the pasta. Toss the veg­eta­bles as well as the shrimp and their but­tery juices into the spaghetti. Add the tomato chunks, arti­choke hearts and a driz­zle of the oil the hearts were packed in. Stir in the feta cheese and a driz­zle of the water it was packed in. Stir in the last clove of gar­lic and sprin­kle the whole lot with chopped basil.

Serve with warm, crusty bread. And, if you can, it's best to eat this meal on a deck with the sun going down in the distance.

  

2 Comments

  1. I love the sound of this. Looks like one of those dishes that taste great eaten straight out of the fridge too! Yum!
    http://www.clementinebuttercup.blogspot.co.uk

  2. Hannele jantti says:

    The recipe sounds soooo deli­cious and all the com­ments about Liz are so true. I will be mak­ing this recipe soon. Thanks for shar­ing it!

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