This flavorful pasta dinner is “shrimp-ly” delicious!
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In medium bowl, combine shrimp, pepper, and ½ teaspoon salt. Use rubber spatula to stir until shrimp are evenly coated.
In Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat for 2 minutes (oil should be hot but not smoking). Add shrimp to pot and use rubber spatula to spread in single layer. Cook shrimp, without stirring, until edges turn pink, about 1 minute.
Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil to pot. Cook over low heat, stirring often with clean rubber spatula, until garlic is just beginning to turn golden, 4 to 6 minutes.
Stir in water, broth, clam juice, pasta, and remaining ¾ teaspoon salt. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, for 12 minutes.
Shrimp is the most popular seafood in the United States. These slightly sweet, mild-flavored crustaceans are full of interesting science. Take a deep dive into these shrimp-ly fascinating facts.
They Change Color When They Cook
Most raw shrimp are a gray-black color. But when you cook them, they turn pink! Why the color change? Shrimp contain a pigment called astaxanthin (“ah-stuh-ZAN-thin”) that is released when the shrimp reach about 120 degrees. Bonus fishy fact: Salmon have pink flesh because they eat shrimp and krill, a shrimp relative that contains the same pigment.
The Come in Lots of Sizes
There are about 2,000 species of shrimp around the world, and humans eat around 300 of them—from common whiteleg shrimp to beautiful royal red shrimp. Some species are harvested when they’re supertiny, dried, and used in all sorts of dishes, including soups, salads, and stir-fries. On the other hand, black tiger shrimp can grow as long as 13 inches!
The Shell Is Full of Flavor
Shrimp shells contain proteins, sugars, and compounds called glutamates (“GLUE-tah-mates”) and nucleotides (“NEW-clee-oh-tides”), which have a savory umami taste. If you cook shrimp shells, their proteins and sugars undergo a special chemical reaction that gives them even more flavor. But peeling shrimp is a LOT of work! In this recipe, we use peeled shrimp and add another ocean ingredient—clam juice—to boost this dish’s salty seafood flavor.
Clam juice is made by cooking clams in salted water and then bottling the strained broth. It adds a savory seafood flavor to all sorts of dishes, including this one!