I throw together a lot of random experiments on choir nights. Most are serviceable, but every now and then, I hit on something really good. This dish came out tasting amazing, and I made it using only healthy staples that I always have in my freezer and pantry!
My inspiration was a delicious Greek soup called avgolemono, which is thickened with a mixture of egg and lemon juice. I decided to use the same basic idea for my pasta, whisking hot pasta water into a mixture of egg yolk and lemon juice to form the sauce. Egg thickened sauces and soups generally don’t keep well, so its best to make small batches that you can eat immediately.
Rotini with Shrimp and Peas in Lemon-Egg Sauce
- 1 serving of whole wheat rotini
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 clove of garlic
- olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Zest lemon and crush or grate garlic. Set aside. If you are using frozen shrimp, thaw them by running under hot water. (If you’re in a rush, you can throw the shrimp frozen into the boiling pasta water.)
2. Cook rotini according to instructions on package. (Mine took 10 minutes)
3. While pasta is cooking, whisk egg yolk until frothy and pale. Add lemon juice and beat again. Just before the pasta finishes cooking, slowly stream in 1/3 cup of hot pasta water, whisking vigorously so that the sauce does not clump.
4. When pasta is done, drain and set aside pasta. Put pot over medium heat and add a bit of olive oil. Toss in shrimp and garlic and cook until the garlic smells fragrant. (I used precooked shrimp…if yours are raw, then add the shrimp first).
5. Return pasta to the pot and turn the heat to low. Add lemon zest and sauce. Stir until sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper. At the last minute, add in the peas. (I used frozen peas…the heat of the pasta thaws the peas extremely quickly, so I don’t bother pre-thawing them). Garnish the pasta with fresh herbs if you have any on hand, and serve immediately.