Did you know that today is National String Popcorn Day? Yep, it is. I’ve always wanted to string popcorn and make cranberry garland for my tree. When my children were little, the best Christmas we ever had was filled with paper decorations and a cardboard box painted to look like a fireplace. How else was Santa going to get into our tiny apartment?
While I cannot convince my guys that stringing popcorn on National String Popcorn or any other day was a grand idea, I do get a helping hand at making gingerbread houses each year and painting sugar cookies. So thanks for that, my dears.
Just in case you are stringing popcorn tonight, here’s a delicious meal for the whole family to enjoy. After all, all that stringing is bound to build up an appetite!
Happy Holidays Everyone!
Ribbon Pasta with Shrimp and Lemon Garlic
1 lb jumbo shrimp (16/20 count), peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided or more as needed
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper, more as needed
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cups Zucchini, sliced
1 cup Grape Tomatoes, halved
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 Pinch Red Pepper Flakes, more as needed
1 Lemon, zest only
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
8 oz Pappardelle or other flat ribbon pasta
1 tablespoon Italian Parsley, chopped
Bring 3 to 4 quarts of salted water to a boil for the pasta. While the water comes to a boil, prepare the shrimp. Rinse the shrimp well under cold water as you peel and devein. Set aside.
In a small cup, mix together 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Stir to combine, then sprinkle over the shrimp. Set the seasoned shrimp aside until ready to use.
Slice zucchini 1/8-inch thick cut on a bias. Set aside.
Cut grape tomatoes in half. Set aside
Peel and mince garlic. Set aside.
In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat.
Add sliced zucchini and sauté for 4 minutes, or until just tender.
Add the sliced grape tomatoes and sauté for 2 minutes, until just beginning to soften.
Add ¼ teaspoon salt to the vegetables, and stir to combine. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl and reserve.
Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan, and turn heat to medium-low.
Add garlic and red pepper flakes, stir and cook for 2 minutes to ensure that the garlic does not brown or burn. You want the garlic to cook slowly and the flavors to infuse into the oil, turn heat to low if needed.
Keeping the heat on medium-low, add the seasoned shrimp. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until just pink in color.
Add lemon juice and zest to the pan, stir to combine.
Add the cooked zucchini and tomatoes back to the pan, and stir to combine with the shrimp.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook pasta according to manufacturer’s directions, until tender.
Drain the pasta and toss with the shrimp and vegetables. Add more salt and pepper as desired. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Original Recipe: Jessica Gavin