What’s for Dinner: Lemongrass Scampi with Fresh Pasta

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After being on the road (again) for another week, I finally had a few days at home to catch up on cooking and other household projects. Yesterday I was in the mood to make a fresh batch of pasta from my beloved Lillo Due Professional Extruder; I know I owe friends some pasta I promised to send out around the holidays but I’m still working on perfecting drying for long-term storage and shipping. In the meantime, that means I get to make lots of pasta for myself and the sweetie, who never complains when it’s pasta night.

Pasta dies

My collection of pasta dies and tools for my Lillo Due machine. They are stored in vinegar during and after cleaning to keep them from tarnishing.

I also had some nice fresh shrimp I’d bought the day before so some kind of seafood pasta seemed in order. I did a little searching through my indexed recipes and books at EatYourBooks.com and my eye was caught by a recipe for Lemongrass Scampi with Pappardelle, from Ming Tsai’s Simply Ming One-Pot Meals: Quick, Healthy & Affordable Recipes. Now, I love watching Ming on television and have two of his cookbooks, but I have to admit I’ve had mixed results with his recipes at home. Some of them I’ve tried, I’ve loved and bookmarked to make again. Others, I’ve found quite lacking and unmemorable. But this looked simple and fresh-tasting, a good way to not lose the taste of the shrimp or the texture of homemade pasta.

Freshly made lasagnette noodles from my Lillo Due Pasta Extruder.

Freshly made lasagnette noodles from my Lillo Due Pasta Extruder.

I could have hand-cut pappardelle noodles (using my lasagna noodle extruder die), but I decided to go a little “fancy” and use my lasagnette die instead. I love these long, thick ribbons as they just look so pretty when they come out of the machine—and on a plate of food!

Lemongrass scampi with my freshly made lasagnette noodles.

Lemongrass scampi with my freshly made lasagnette noodles.

The final plate of cooked pasta and shrimp can out quite well, although between the lemongrass, lemon juice and grated lemon rind it was a bit one-note and intense on the lemon flavor. I couldn’t help but think it could have used something else to add a little contrast and dimension; perhaps some blistered cherry tomatoes or some wilted spinach or arugula tossed in at the last minute.

Grilled kale, mixed salad greens and freshly-made croutons

Grilled kale, mixed salad greens and freshly-made croutons

I was glad I prepared a salad on the side of grilled torn kale and other greens in a mustard vinaigrette on the side. The pasta dish definitely called out for something to accompany it, so I’m not really sure I’d call it a truly satisfying “One-Pot Meal” (besides, of course, the fact that I needed two pots to cook the sauce and the pasta—I was not going to follow Ming’s directions to first cook the pasta and then chill it in ice water while then cooking the shrimp in the same pot. Just…no. Especially not with freshmade pasta that should not be treated so crudely, not to my Italian sensibilities.)

All in all, this was an okay dish, elevated by the fresh pasta, but not one I’d rush to make again.

 

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