Shrimp, Spinach, and Tomato Pasta

This super simple dish has a few great things going for it. First, the ingredients all cook up extremely quickly, so it’s great for any night of the week  It’s also fancy enough that you can serve it to dinner guests, and it’s added bonus is all the vegetables in the dish.
(extra bonus point: Christmas colored if you serve it at the holiday time.)

1 lb of shrimp, raw, shelled and deveined
2 tsp olive oil, divided
4 tsp garlic, minced, divided
3 tbsp butter, divided
1 tsp Old Bay (optional)
1/2 cup parmesan, grated (plus more for serving)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
3 cups baby spinach, fresh (a bag will work too)
10 oz pasta shape of your choice
1 tbsp lemon juice

Prepare salted pasta water pan by getting to a boil.

In a large skill, heat olive oil over medium heat, then add 1 tbsp butter. (tip: olive oil helps prevent the burning of the butter.).  Add 2 tsp of garlic, stir.  Add raw shrimp, allowing the first side to sear before turning.

Turn shrimp, seasoning with salt, parmesan (and old bay.)  Toss after another minute.  Shrimp should be pinked and cooked through (about 3 minutes.)  Remove shrimp from the skillet (and tent to keep warm.)

Add additional teaspoon olive oil and red pepper flakes for 30 seconds. Then add: 2 tsp remaining garlic, fresh spinach, halved tomatoes. Toss ingredients until just barely wilted (about 3-5 minutes.) (Cover and set aside if prepared before the pasta, but ideally, time it to end at the same time.)

Once salted pasta water is boiling, prepare pasta according to the package. Before draining reserve 1 cup of starchy pasta water.  Drain pasta.

In the large skillet (on stovetop again), add 2 tbsp butter. Melt, and whisk in about 1/2 cup pasta water. (This will help marry the pasta and the sauce).  Add in the shrimp as you combine. 

Make sure all ingredients are warmed through, the sauce is the thickness you would like, and the seasoning has been adjusted.

Add cooked pasta and toss. Adjust seasoning and top with fresh parmesan cheese.

Serve immediately.

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