Fresh asparagus and shrimp combined in a rich and decadent cream sauce creates an elegant dish worthy of a dinner party - and it all comes together in under fifteen minutes.
1 pound asparagus
1 pound linguine
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. butter
2 French shallots, finely chopped
1 pound shrimp (large or extra large size), peeled and deveined
3 tbsp. brandy
1 cup whipping cream (35 %)
1 to 2 sprigs of tarragon, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving
Snap ends off asparagus. Peel the asparagus if too woody. Cut into 2-inch pieces and steam until tender crisp, about 7 to 10 minutes. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt. Add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil and butter. When butter melts, add shallots and cook until soft. Add shrimp and asparagus and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat. Add brandy. Place skillet back over heat and let warm. Ignite with long match. The alcohol should burn off in a few seconds and the flame will extinguish. (If flame gets out of hand, immediately cover pan with tight-fitting lid to extinguish flame. Remove from heat.)
Stir in the whipping cream and let sauce cook until reduced and starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Add tarragon and season with salt and pepper.
Add pasta to pan and toss to coat with sauce. If needed, add a little pasta water to the pan to loosen sauce. Serve pasta with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.