The fun part about being an amateur is that you’re always trying new stuff.
Conveniently, this is also the most terrifying part of being an amateur.
The first proper recipe I distinctly remember pulling off successfully is Bisquick’s “impossible” cheeseburger pie. It’s ground beef, which, to me, is a “safe” food because it changes color once it’s cooked through and it’s difficult to mess it up. Seriously. You could spread it all onto the bottom of a pan over medium-high heat and just let it sit there, stirring occasionally, and soon it’ll be done.
I cooked exclusively with ground beef for an embarrassingly long time (did I mention I don’t like to stray from routine?). Even to this day, starting on a new type of meat terrifies me. The first time I cooked chicken, I think I just kept cutting pieces in half until they were all beyond done, my mindset being that if I undercooked it, everyone will just drop dead. I am still pretty scared to approach fish. But recently I’ve decided to branch out to a more refined food that changes color when it’s done: shrimp!
I started this delicious recipe without knowing how to cook shrimp or tortellini. I bought frozen peeled and deveined shrimp. These are definitely more expensive than whole shrimp, but I was not really ready to learn those steps yet- I wanted to focus on cooking them, and not worrying about whether or not I got the other steps right. Having said that, I have since actually bothered to peel and devein shrimp, and I can confirm that the convenience is worth the expense.
Another word of advice: don’t cook the shrimp while they’re still frozen! This may seem like common sense, but I didn’t grow up eating shrimp, had no idea how to prepare it, and probably would have thrown these into the pan still in crustacean glacier form if my roommate hadn’t stopped me and advised putting them in cold water to thaw.
Admittedly, I overcooked the shrimp. Fun fact: when the shrimp is in the shape of a C, it’s done. I didn’t know that until after I finished eating and wondered how to know the shrimp is done other than “oh! look! they’re pink!” because the ones I made were tightly coiled and a bit chewy (but still tasty, and definitely not ruined) after I turned away from them for about five seconds. So… watch these little bastards. Also, the tortellini is super easy. I used tricolor because it’s pretty, and they were done after about two minutes. Like the recipe says, cook them first and set them aside. Don’t overcook them because you throw them into the pan with everything else, so that cooks them a little further.
The end result was great, as is every recipe I try from Rasa Malaysia, and unlike every other goddamn recipe on the fucking internet, it’s actually simple… not a seasoned cook’s version of simple. The original is here, and I’ve doubled it to accommodate four people.
Garlic Shrimp Tortellini Recipe
- 16 oz. tricolor tortellini (because it’s pretty)
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves of minced garlic
- 12 oz peeled and deveined shrimp (or less if you’re not THAT into shrimp), seasoned with salt and pepper
- 8 oz. sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- 4 tbsp dry white wine
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Cook the tortellini according to box directions. It took two minutes for the tortellini I bought was tender.
- Heat a large skillet to medium heat and add the olive oil.
- Add the garlic and saute for 10 seconds.
- Throw the shrimp on there and cook until the surface turns white.
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes (don’t drain them- put the oil in there too!) and stir to combine.
- Add the tortellini, stir for a few seconds, and then add the white wine and salt.
- Toss well and serve immediately. Eat a lot of it because it’s amazing, and YOU MADE IT, you majestic unicorn!