We love pasta and using a whole-grain variety somehow makes one feel a little bit better about consuming it. Here, the rustic pasta is enhanced with the mild sweetness of roasted peppers and shrimp, and the kick of a spicy garlic marinade. You can use jarred roasted peppers, if you like, but roasting your own will make the pasta tastier, especially if you make them a day ahead.
To roast the peppers you can do so on a grill, under a broiler, or directly over a burner on a gas stove like I did. Once blackened all around, seal them in a ziploc bag for about 15-20 minutes, this will loosen the skin so you can easily sloth it off. Our box of whole-grain farfalle was only 8 ounces as opposed to 12, but it was more than enough for two of us with plenty of leftovers.
I’ve mentioned many a time, that our broiler is sub-par and I wasn’t confident it would sear the shrimp properly so I used a skillet method (noted in the directions below). Doing this, I didn’t have to remove the shrimp from the marinade or pat them dry, lending more of the spicy flavor to the dish. Plus, the reserved pasta water wasn’t needed, saving yet another step. It is also much easier to flip the shrimp in a skillet then under a hot broiler, just sayin’ 😉
Whole Grain Farfalle with Spicy Shrimp and Roasted Peppers
- 5 medium cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2 Fresno or other small fresh red chiles, cut into a few pieces (remove seeds and ribs for less heat)
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed
- 2 tsp. crumbled dried oregano
- 2 tsp. Aleppo pepper or 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes; more to taste
- 3/4 tsp. ground cumin
- Fine sea salt
- 3 red bell peppers or a mixture of red and yellow, roasted, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
- 1 lb. extra-large shrimp (26 to 30 per lb.), preferably wildcaught, peeled and deveined
- 12 oz. whole-grain farfalle
- 4 oz. (1 cup) crumbled mild feta, preferably sheep’s milk
- 1/2 cup lightly packed chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 to 1-1/2 oz. (1 to 1-1/2 cups) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- In a food processor, pulse the garlic and chiles until finely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl, and add the oil, oregano, Aleppo, cumin, and 1/2 tsp. salt; stir well with a fork to combine.
- Transfer half of the mixture to another medium bowl and stir in the roasted peppers and vinegar.
- Add the shrimp to the remaining marinade, gently toss to coat, and set aside to marinate for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, position a rack 4 inches from the broiler element, and heat the broiler on high. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil, and cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente.
- While the pasta cooks, lightly grease a large rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Remove the shrimp from the marinade, gently pat dry with paper towels, and place on the baking sheet. Broil, flipping once, until opaque throughout, 3 to 4 minutes total.
OR Lynn’s Version: Heat a heavy-duty cast-iron or carbon steel skillet on medium-high and when hot, toss the shrimp, marinade and all into the pan. No need to add additional oil. Sear both sides of shrimp until opaque, turning once, 2-3 minutes total. I then aded everything to the skillet—minus the reserved pasta water, it wasn’t necessary—gently tossed and heated for another minute.
- Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and transfer to a large heated serving bowl. Add the peppers with the marinade, feta, parsley, and 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Gently toss with a large serving spoon for 1 minute to warm the feta, adding a bit more pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce. Season to taste with salt.
- Divide the pasta among heated shallow bowls. Sprinkle generously with the Parmigiano, and place 4 to 5 shrimp on top of each serving. Serve, passing more cheese at the table.
Adapted from a recipe