I never would have thought that shrimp and beans would be a good combo. I like shrimp. I like beans, but together?! Get out of here!
Thankfully Classic Pasta at Home has pulled me out of the pork and bean gutter, dusted me off and taught me fancy phrases like the rain in Spain grows mainly on the plain.
Speaking of fancy, Classic Pasta at Home is kind of a fancy little cookbook. You’re not going to find pasta emerging from hot dog links here, which we all know is a classic American pasta dish.
I’m being sarcastic here, please don’t send me hate mail about this. It’s a joke. Lighten up Francis. Oh great, now you’re mad because I called you Francis.
Moving on to serious business, I do think the actual pasta in this cookbook is classic, but the sides dishes are not what I would find in my Italian-American small town. I’ve never seen a side dish of shrimp and beans or breasola with asparagus. Both of which are incredibly delicious by the way!
So, dear readers, this is an exciting time. Get pumped up for this recipe, because un-like myself, it is a winner.
What you’ll need
- 1 1/8 cups of dried white beans (I used canned beans, you can too. Look for 8oz worth)
- 6 cups of water
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- 18 large shrimp prawns, peeled
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
- 1/3 cup of minced red onion
- 1/4 cup of parsley
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar
The first step is to rinse your beans, if you bought dried ones. If you did, you will rinse and then soak for up to 8 hours. When those hours are up, you then simmer the beans with the yellow onion and rosemary over medium heat. You will do this if you use canned beans as well. The book says to simmer in 6 cups of water. I used canned beans and was concerned about them getting soggy, so I just added a little bit of water. It was just enough to keep the beans from sticking and to allow the onion and rosemary to soak with the beans.
If you used dry beans, you will simmer for an hour. If not, I’d say 20-30. As I said earlier, I wanted to get the flavor of the rosemary and onion without causing the beans to become soggy. I ended up succeeding, but you do have to be careful to not overcook.
With both types, once the beans are cooked, you remove the onion and rosemary, drain the water, add salt and pepper, and then place it somewhere where it will keep warm.
The next step is to prepare your shrimp. I took my usual shortcut of using precooked shrimp. If you decide to be more classy and cook your own shrimp you will need to peel the shrimp and slit the back so it will open up like a butterfly while it cooks.
That’s not the only reason you need to cut them though. You also have to remove their shrimp veins. This is why I buy precooked shrimp. I could do that, but I don’t want to. Why should I force myself to do something like that when I don’t have to?
To cook the uncooked shrimp, you boil them in salted water for 45 seconds. When the seconds are up, you drain and transfer to a bowl for some tossing.
If you were not classy like I was, you should re-heat your precooked shrimp. I heated mine up in pan real quick with just a touch of olive oil but feel free to do whatever you like.
The final steps to making this classy meal is to combine the beans with the shrimp along with olive oil, red onion, parsley, garlic, and vinegar. Toss it to your little hearts content and then do a spice taste test. Adjust accordingly and then have someone who lives downstairs from you serve it to you because this is a classy dish and you are too classy to serve yourself.
In fact, just have someone downstairs cook it for you. If you happen to live on the ground floor and can’t do so. Well, I’m sorry to say that you just aren’t classy enough to eat this dish.