By Larry Levine –

I don’t recall it ever having happened before. I stood there just inside the entrance to Gelson’s Market with absolutely no idea of what I wanted to eat or cook for dinner. Usually, when I enter the market I have at least a vague notion of whether it will be chicken, fish, pork, or something else. This time I was blank.

There had been occasions in the past on which I had been indecisive, but never totally blank. And to top it off I couldn’t think of any place I would want to go if we decided to go out for dinner, not even what type of food I wanted.

I called home to see if Jennifer had any ideas, any requests. I got our voice mail. I was on my own. “Chicken thighs, or shrimp,” I thought. “Don’t feel like chicken. How about something with pasta? OK. I’ll get some shrimp, I’ve got some pasta in the pantry and there are some good grape tomatoes in the fridge.”

Here’s what came of it.

¼ lb. whole wheat angel hair pasta
5 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
12 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 large cloves of garlic, chopped
¼ teasp crushed red pepper
15 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
3 Tblsp dried basil

Bring a deep pot full of water to a boil.
While the water is coming to a boil, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a wide pan. Sautee the shrimp until pink on both sides.
When the water is boiling, add the pasta in batches so the water doesn’t stop boiling.
Remove the shrimp to a bowl.
Remove the pan from the flame and add the tomatoes, tossing until they are warmed through.
Remove the tomatoes to the bowl with the shrimp.
Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and place the pan over low heat. Add the garlic and red pepper.
When the pasta is done, drain it and turn it into the pan with the garlic. Toss to thoroughly coat the past in the oil. Crush the basil in your palm, sprinkle it over the pasta and toss to distribute. Add the shrimp and tomatoes to the pasta. Toss gently to heat without crushing the tomatoes.

That’s it. The whole think took less than 20 minutes and Jennifer pronounced it “absolutely delicious.”

Serves 2.

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