Summer’s All Right With Beach House Pasta with Shrimp & Grilled Limes
Even if you don’t have a beach house — yeah, that would be me, too — you’ll find yourself kicking back with pleasure when you dig into this dish.
“Beach House Pasta with Shrimp and Grilled Limes” is from the new cookbook, “Food52 Any Night Grilling” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy. It’s by Austin cookbook author Paula Disbrowe and the Food52 team.
As the name implies, the book includes 60 grilling recipes easy enough to make any night of the week. There’s a primer on gas versus charcoal, basic information on setting up your grill, and judging its heat.
Enjoy everything from “Crispy Greek Pies with Dandelion & Feta” and “Grilled Branzino with Thai Basil Butter” to “Smoky Tomato & Red Lentil Soup” to “Tipsy Chicken with Smoky Pan Drippings.”
With this shrimp pasta, I know what you’re thinking: Why start up the grill just for cooking some shrimp and a few limes when making pasta?
The answer is: Because the resulting smokiness really adds a delicious touch to the whole dish, lifting it to a higher realm than just your basic shrimp pasta.
Plus, by the time you boil the pasta, the shrimp are already done on the grill. This is a quick dish to put together even on a weeknight.
It may be called “Pasta with Shrimp” but it’s more like “Pasta with Loads of Shrimp.” That’s because it’s made with 1 pound of pasta and 2 pounds of shrimp. That’s a hugely generous amount of shrimp by any measure. If you want to save a few bucks, you could definitely cut down the amount of shrimp by one half to a full pound, and still be able to feed four easily.
The just-boiled pasta is tossed with the grilled shrimp, lime zest, tarragon, parsley and just enough creme fraiche to cling to each noodle without there being a pool of sauce on the bottom. The creme fraiche gives the pasta a silky suppleness without being heavy. Juice from the charred limes is squeezed on just before serving.
It’s lightly smoky, subtly creamy, and has a kiss of licorice from the tarragon.
It’s total beachy comfort food — without the worry of sand getting into everything.
Beach House Pasta with Shrimp and Grilled Limes
(Serves 4 to 6)
2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails intact
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound spaghetti
1/2 cup creme fraiche
2 tablespoons freshly chopped tarragon or chives
3 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
Red pepper flakes
Prepare a charcoal grill for two-zone cooking (banking the coals on one side of the grill and leaving the other side empty for indirect cooking) and build a medium-high fire, or heat a gas grill to high. Carefully wipe the preheated grill grates with a lightly oiled paper towel. Using a grill brush, scrape the grill grates clean, then carefully wipe with a lightly oiled towel again. If you’re using a grill basket or pan, allow it to heat for 10 minutes before cooking.
In a large bowl, drizzle the shrimp with enough olive oil to lightly coat, season with kosher salt and pepper, and toss to combine.
On the stove top, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While the water heats, zest the limes and then slice them in half lengthwise. Add the pasta and cook until al dene per the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta.
Grill the shrimp and limes over direct heat, stirring and flipping with tongs until the shrimp are evenly cooked (about 4 minutes) and the limes are slashed with grill marks, 2 to 3 minutes. Let cool on a rimmed baking sheet.
In a large bowl, gently toss the shrimp, cooked pasta, lime zest, creme fraiche, tarragon, and parsley to combine. Season with salt and pepper, add a generous drizzle of olive oil, and toss again; add a splash of the reserved pasta water if needed to create a creamy texture. Serve immediately in warmed bowls with a squeeze of grilled lime, some red pepper flakes, additional black pepper, and a sprinkle of flaky salt.
From “Food52 Any Night Grilling” by Paula Disbrowe
More Grilling Recipes: Grilled Chicken Puttanesca