Sweet Summer Pasta with Shrimp, Asparagus, Corn, Tomatoes & Cream

Where do I begin?

Nine days at the beach in Orange County, Calif. for my annual beach vacation? A whirlwind trip to New York City and Los Angeles for media events to launch the soon-to-open resort I work for? Eating out and cooking the same old thing because it’s fast and easy? Or, with me being too tired and hungry to take some decent pictures and share my cooking adventures with the world?

The latter is probably the most accurate.

But tonight I am back to cooking (and sharing the results)…so I picked up the best looking, fresh things at the store and made a sweet and comforting pasta…with leftovers for lunch all week.

Cheers to good cooking on a Monday night!

Sweet Summer Pasta:
(serves 4)

8 oz pasta – I used Mafalda (a skinny lasagna-like noodle)
1/3 lb fresh sweet shrimp (medium is best), deveined and peeled
1 lb asparagus, tips only, stems discarded or saved for another use
1 c sweet fresh corn kernels, scraped from the cob
2 cloves garlic (or to taste, I used 3), minced finely
2 fresh vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and chopped roughly
Olive Oil as needed
Salt and Pepper
1/2 c heavy cream
Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated (if desired)

Bring a large stock pot of water to boil, add ample salt (salty like ocean water – this matters in this recipe because a lot of the ingredients are naturally sweet and you need a balance). Add pasta, stir quickly to prevent sticking.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add approximately 1 tbs olive oil. Saute garlic briefly, then add asparagus. Splash with a bit of pasta cooking water to steam asparagus slightly. Add corn and saute briefly. Salt and pepper.

Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 c cooking liquid. Add shrimp and pasta to skillet. Add pasta cooking water and cream. Simmer on medium heat, tossing, just until sauce is thickened. Add tomatoes and toss briefly. Salt and pepper to taste – add freshly grated Parmesan cheese if desired. Serve immediately with a crisp green salad and a chilled white wine.

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