The First Dish You Make For Him – Shrimp Tagliatelle with Cherry Tomato Sauce Recipe (tagliatelle ai gamberoni)
I have a philosophy that I don’t cook for a man unless we have been dating for quite a bit of time. First he has to win me over, taking the time, effort and money in choosing just the right restaurants. (Yes I did say money. I will not go on a second date with a man that does not pay for the first. But I’ll get into that some other time.)
Once he’s put enough effort into the relationship to prove that he’s not just looking for some quick punany, why not invite him over for dinner?
I kind of call it the seal the deal dish. The one that will make him tell his bros “and she can cook”. The timing on this dish is kind of crucial though. If it’s too soon after you’ve met, then he’ll think that he’s already won you. (I’ve made that mistake before ladies learn from my mistakes.) Men like a challenge!
The first dish you make can’t be too complicated either. It has to be easy enough, that’s like I just whipped something up. And you’re not hot and sweaty with a gazillion dishes in the sink and your place is looking a hot mess. Men do judge women on how they keep a house!
This first dish is a special occasion and as such it should be a little, well, special. Shrimp Tagliatelle is the perfect balance between the two: quick enough for a weekday meal, different enough to serve to guests at a dinner party.
6 oz (170 grams) Tagliatelle Pasta (or another long pasta of your choice)
1 tbsp course salt or kosher salt (to taste)*
12 medium sized shrimp or 6 jumbo shrimp (cut in half length wise)
16 cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup white wine
1 clove of garlic, diced
6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt (to taste)*
1/4 tsp black pepper (to taste)*
1. Place a large pot of water on stove and bring to boil (while water is on stove start sauce)
2. Add kosher salt to boiling water
3. Cook pasta 1 minute under package suggested cook time.
1. Place large pan on stove, heat to medium high.
2. Pat dry shrimp. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Cook on shrimp each side for 1-2 minutes. (Yes no oil). Remove and set aside.
4. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, and wine. Cook for 1-2 minutes on medium high.
5. Once white wine has cooked off add 1/2 cup of pasta water.**
6. Cover pan and cook on low for another 10 minutes.
7. Add cooked pasta, shrimp, basil, parsley to sauce. Cook for another 1-2 minutes (to finish cooking pasta and to combine flavors).
8. Add 1 tbsp “raw” olive oil.
**Just in case: Pasta water is the water that the pasta is cooking in. It going to be a little cloudy, salty, and starchy. Besides the 1/2 cup indicated. I like to set aside another 1/2 cup before I drain the pasta. Just in case I want to thin out the pasta sauce.
*When learning how to cook, I hated to see “salt to taste”. I had no idea what I was doing in the kitchen. Certain things are just never going to be salty enough, if you add it too the end. But add too much, and it’s over… So I like to add a general guideline. Use more or less as you which. This amount will change depending on the specific ingredients you’re using (freshly ground black pepper vs. pre-ground flakes) and personal preferences.