Calabrian Shrimp & Pancetta Pasta with Asparagus & Lemon Ricotta
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Calabrian Shrimp & Pancetta Pasta

with Asparagus & Lemon Ricotta

45 MIN
+$7.50/serving 4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

INGREDIENT IN FOCUS
Italian pancetta is seasoned, salt-cured meat made from pork belly (similar to bacon, but not smoked). It adds incredible depth of flavor and pleasant saltiness to a variety of dishes, especially pastas.

TECHNIQUE TO HIGHLIGHT
Pasta water is full of starch, which we use to help bind our buttery Calabrian chile sauce to the pasta. Adding the remaining cooking water a little at a time ensures that the pasta will be thoroughly coated and allows you to choose how saucy you’d like it to be.
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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    890 Cals (est.)
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fresh
ingredients
Calabrian Shrimp & Pancetta Pasta with Asparagus & Lemon Ricotta
Title
  • 18 oz Tail-On Shrimp (Peeled & Deveined)
  • 3 oz Diced Pancetta
  • ¾ lb Bucatini Pasta
  • ½ lb Grape Tomatoes
  • 4 Scallions
  • 1 Lemon
  • 5 oz Baby Spinach
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • ¾ lb Asparagus
  • 1 bunch Mint
  • 2 oz Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Calabrian Chile Paste
  • 1 cup Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 Tbsps Sliced Roasted Almonds
  • 1 oz Sweety Drop Peppers
  • ¼ cup Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tbsp Capers
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Snap off and discard the tough, woody stem ends of the asparagus; cut on an angle into 2-inch pieces (keeping the pointed tips intact). Halve the tomatoes. Thinly slice the scallions, separating the white bottoms and hollow green tops. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Quarter and deseed the lemon. Pick the mint leaves off the stems.

Cook the asparagus
2 Cook the asparagus

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the asparagus pieces in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 1 to 2 minutes, or until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender. Transfer to a bowl and cover with foil to keep warm. Wipe out the pan.

Cook the shrimp
3 Cook the shrimp

Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels (remove the tails, if desired). Season with salt and pepper. In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned shrimp in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until opaque and cooked through. Transfer to a bowl and cover with foil to keep warm. Wipe out the pan.

Crisp the pancetta & make the sauce
4 Crisp the pancetta & make the sauce

Heat the same pan on medium-high until hot. Add the pancetta. Cook, stirring frequently, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Carefully drain off and discard any excess fat from the pan. Wipe out the pan, then add a drizzle of olive oil; heat on medium-high until hot. Add the halved tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Add the sliced white bottoms of the scallions, chopped garlic, and capers. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the tomato paste and as much of the chile paste as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. Add the spinach, crisped pancetta, and 1/2 cup of water. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted and most of the liquid has cooked off. Turn off the heat.

Cook & finish the pasta
5 Cook & finish the pasta

Meanwhile, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot. To the pot of cooked pasta, add the sauce, cooked shrimp, butter, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining pasta cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

Finish the asparagus & serve your dish
6 Finish the asparagus & serve your dish

In a bowl, combine the ricotta, the juice of 2 lemon wedges, and 2 teaspoons of olive oil; season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, combine the peppers, the juice of the remaining lemon wedges, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil; season with salt and pepper. On a serving dish, spread the seasoned ricotta into an even layer. Top with the cooked asparagus, seasoned peppers, and almonds. Serve the finished pasta garnished with the sliced green tops of the scallions. Serve the finished asparagus on the side. Garnish with the mint leaves (tearing just before adding).

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Snap off and discard the tough, woody stem ends of the asparagus; cut on an angle into 2-inch pieces (keeping the pointed tips intact). Halve the tomatoes. Thinly slice the scallions, separating the white bottoms and hollow green tops. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Quarter and deseed the lemon. Pick the mint leaves off the stems.

2 Cook the asparagus

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the asparagus pieces in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 1 to 2 minutes, or until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender. Transfer to a bowl and cover with foil to keep warm. Wipe out the pan.

Cook the asparagus
Cook the shrimp
3 Cook the shrimp

Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels (remove the tails, if desired). Season with salt and pepper. In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned shrimp in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until opaque and cooked through. Transfer to a bowl and cover with foil to keep warm. Wipe out the pan.

4 Crisp the pancetta & make the sauce

Heat the same pan on medium-high until hot. Add the pancetta. Cook, stirring frequently, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Carefully drain off and discard any excess fat from the pan. Wipe out the pan, then add a drizzle of olive oil; heat on medium-high until hot. Add the halved tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Add the sliced white bottoms of the scallions, chopped garlic, and capers. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the tomato paste and as much of the chile paste as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. Add the spinach, crisped pancetta, and 1/2 cup of water. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted and most of the liquid has cooked off. Turn off the heat.

Crisp the pancetta & make the sauce
Cook & finish the pasta
5 Cook & finish the pasta

Meanwhile, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot. To the pot of cooked pasta, add the sauce, cooked shrimp, butter, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining pasta cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

6 Finish the asparagus & serve your dish

In a bowl, combine the ricotta, the juice of 2 lemon wedges, and 2 teaspoons of olive oil; season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, combine the peppers, the juice of the remaining lemon wedges, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil; season with salt and pepper. On a serving dish, spread the seasoned ricotta into an even layer. Top with the cooked asparagus, seasoned peppers, and almonds. Serve the finished pasta garnished with the sliced green tops of the scallions. Serve the finished asparagus on the side. Garnish with the mint leaves (tearing just before adding).

Finish the asparagus & serve your dish
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