Recipe: Tomato Butter & Shrimp Pasta


serves 4

1 pint (2 cups) cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest from 1 lemon
1 pound dried short pasta, such as rigatoni (gluten free works too)
1 pound large Gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon organic cane sugar
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
tender fresh thyme leaves, for garnish

1. Toss tomatoes with 1 teaspoon oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. With rack set about 5-inches from broiler, broil tomatoes, shaking pan halfway through cooking time, until tomatoes "pop", skins blister, and juices are released, about 5-7 minutes; let cool to room temperature.
2. Combine tomatoes, butter, and lemon zest in bowl of food processor or blender. Process or blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. If butter is not quite cool or tomatoes are still warm, the mixture may look oily or broken. Don't worry, it still tastes awesome. Cover tomato butter and refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Bring a large pot of water to boil, generously salt water. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well.
4. Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in large saute pan over medium heat. Once oil is shimmering, add shrimp in a single layer, working in batches, if necessary. Sprinkle shrimp with sugar, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until pink and opaque, about 2 minutes per side. Remove shrimp as they cook to large plate.
5. Reduce heat to low, return cooked shrimp to saute pan, add cooked pasta and about 3/4 cup tomato butter. Toss to coat and heat through. Serve garnished with thyme leaves, if desired.


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