Picture it: the sun is setting over the Mediterranean, sail boats bob on the gentle waves in the harbor. There’s a light breeze and the perfect amount of humidity, the kind that leaves your sun-kissed skin dewy but your hair isn’t frizzy. You’re wearing a flowy dress and sipping a crisp cold glass of white wine, the beads of condensation cooling your hand. You’re on vacation in the South of France and life is wonderful.
Cut to: a crowded subway at rush hour. The only beads you feel are the ones of sweat dripping down the back of your legs in the suffocating humidity. Your hair is permanently in a bun but somehow the frizz escapes the tight clutches of the pony holder. You need a fucking vacation.
Sounds like you need dinner to be your escape.
When I say simple I mean it with this one. It comes together in half an hour and serves two, but can be saved for lunch the next day when you need the escape to continue in the office.
Best served with a cold glass of wine and AC. Flowy dress optional but encouraged.
Scale this up or down depending on the number of people you're cooking for. Think about the final dish and how many shrimp each person would want (4 or 5 feels like a hearty serving.) Think a leek for every 2 servings, they are sweet and delicate so don't be worried about over-doing it even if you're only doing this for one. And then do everything else to taste. Omit garlic and red pepper flakes depending on your preference.
+red chili flakes
+garlic (2+ depending on size)
+white wine (a hearty splash or 2. And make sure some gets into a glass for yourself too)
+parsley, finely chopped
1) Do your prep: trim, wash, and finely chop the leek. Finely chop the garlic.
2) Add both to a pan with a splash of olive oil and a pad of butter, splash of olive oil, or a combo of both (butter adds great flavor and the oil raises it's smoking point.) Cook until soft (about 5 mins.) Add the chili flakes.
2b) While that's all cooking, bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook the spaghetti.
3) As the pasta is cooking add the wine and lemon juice to the leeks and allow to cook about about 5 minutes before adding the shrimp. Once the shrimp are added, cover and allow to cook until the shrimp are pink and opaque, Chop your herbs so they're ready to go in at the end.
4) At which point, test the spaghetti, tasting and feeling if it's al dente. Using tongs, add the spaghetti to the shrimp and leeks, along with a splash of the pasta water and stir well.
5) Throw in the bunch of chopped herbs and toss well to combine with the pasta and sauce and serve.