I always knew that Forrest Gump wasn’t the savant people made him out to be. Sure he made a fortune, walked a lot, and was wildly popular, but could he cook? I think not. He showed his hand during his litany of ways to prepare shrimp: “You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it…lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, [blah, blah, blah] shrimp… That’s, that’s about it.” Wrong, Forrest! His rookie error? He forgot one of the most obvious and delicious ways ever to cook shrimp: with pasta! Just imagine if he had said, in perfect Italian, “Jenny, lo so che stai morendo, ti ho fatto un piatto gustoso di pasta con gamberi e asparagi per farti godere il tuo ultimo pasto.” (Translation: “Jenny, I know you’re dying, so I’ve made you a tasty bowl of farfalle con gamberi e asparagi for you to enjoy as your last meal.”) Now that would have been both impressive and dramatic. But no, like the dish itself, Forrest was just simple, healthy… and yes, crowd pleasing.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the salt to the water after you cook the asparagus.
Add the asparagus to the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Remove with a wire mesh strainer or slotted spoon and reserve.
In a large skillet, over medium heat, sauté the onion in the olive oil until golden. Add the asparagus and sauté together for a few minutes and then add the shrimp. After another minute (longer if the shrimp is not pre-cooked), add the white wine. Add some salt and cook the combined ingredients over medium heat for two additional minutes.
Cook the pasta until al dente (about 2 minutes less than package directions), and retain 1 cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta and add it to the shrimp and asparagus. Cook together for 1 minute, adding the retained cooking water as needed to make sure the pasta is moist and well coated. Serve immediately.
Ed Garrubbo, Editor