Next to salmon, shrimp might be my favorite seafood. It's has a more welcoming texture and is an easier crowd pleaser then an oyster.
The flavors are usually more delicate, so the warm nuttiness of brown butter romantically compliment the shrimp. Herbs are always a good idea in my book, so I've reached for thyme this time. Pun completely intended. Just like rosemary, this woody herb reminds me of being in a big old comfy chair, next to a fireplace, in a well stocked home library. As I do not own any of the aforementioned things, I like to transport however I can.
Spaghetti and fettuccini noodles will taste delicious too, but today we're using rotini because the brown butter likes to hug and hide in every single curl.
You'll want to serve this right away so that the butter stays velvety and doesn't start to harden. And yes, that's a whole-lotta-butta, but remember that it makes the sauce and you're not adding a bunch of other stuff. Plus, no matter how incredibly delicious this meal is, I'm sure you're not going to eat it three times a day for a week. Cause you not crazy.
Brown Butter Rotini with Shrimp
About 2 servings
½ lb. dry rotini
10 shrimp, extra large
4-5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
½ teaspoon Salt + 1 Tablespoon of salt for boiling pasta
¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Peel and devein the shrimp, discarding the shells. Pat dry with a paper towel, then season the shrimp with about a ¼ teaspoon of both salt and pepper.
- Strip the leaves off of the thyme stems. If the tops of the stems are tender, they can be diced.
- Add the Tablespoon of salt to about 3 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Add the rotini and cook until tender 10 minutes. Drain, leaving about 2 Tablespoons of the starchy water in the pot.
- While the pasta is cooking, get a skillet to high heat. Sear and the shrimp for about 3 minutes on each side, being careful not to move them around so they develop a nice color and crust.
- Turn the skillet to medium heat and add the butter. Stir the melted butter around and turn off the heat when the butter has browned bits and smells nutty. This should only take a few minutes, and can burn really easily, so make sure not to walk away from the stove.
- Add the fresh thyme and brown butter to the rotini. Stir and taste is salt and black pepper is needed. Serve with the shrimp laid on top.
- Serve right away to avoid the butter starting to solidify.
- Substitute the thyme with any other fresh herbs.