Master These Recipes for Foods You’re Too Intimidated to Cook



Linguine with Shrimp, Asparagus and Basil

Seafood is another thing some home cooks avoid. Starting with a shrimp recipe like this can help you get comfortable with shellfish. It's super yummy and always gets gobbled up. Perfect dinner for 4 that doesn't take too long so your guests don't get antsy.

  • 8 ounces linguine
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped red jalapeño chiles
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 12 uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails intact
  • 12 slender asparagus, trimmed, cut diagonally into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups (packed) fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced, plus additional for garnish
  • 2 lemon wedges

Fresh, high quality ingredients really make the difference in a dish like this. Fresh pasta can be found in the refrigerated aisle or a gourmet or Italian grocery. Fresh asparagus, lemons and basil are also key. If you need to skimp somewhere on frozen, I'd say go for frozen shrimp. Just give them plenty of time to defrost before peeling (they usually come deveined — make sure yours are).

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and jalapeño; sauté 1 minute. Add wine and butter; boil 2 minutes. Add shrimp, asparagus and lemon juice. Toss until asparagus is just tender and shrimp are just opaque in center, about 3 minutes.

Drain pasta and add to skillet; add 2 cups sliced basil leaves and toss until basil wilts and sauce coats pasta, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and lemon wedges and serve.

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit May 2007, found online here.