What happens when my love of simple pasta dishes meets my love of Greek food? Greek pasta with shrimp, feta, and olives! If you are like me, and are looking for a simple and healthy one-bowl meal, this pasta dish has everything you want. Flavor, veggies, lean proteins, and yummy pasta bringing it all together.
Hello from the topsy-turvy winter here at BitofBacon HQ! After a brutally cold January, February has been downright mild. Just chilling down enough to give us the occasional dusting of snow before warming right up to the point that I’ve been outside talking to my crocuses and telling them it’s not time yet.
Crocuses are terrible listeners. 🙂
However, whether winter is being its usual self or not, we still need to make dinner! Which is why I have for you today one of my favorite simple pasta dishes – Greek pasta with shrimp, feta, olives, and bell peppers! It’s not quite a one pot meal (since I prefer to cook the pasta separately), but it is definitely a one bowl meal.
How do you make Greek pasta with shrimp?
It’s quite simple!
First, you quickly saute the shrimp, and then – for the extra flavor and the fun of playing with your food – you FLAMBE it. Yum! The caramelization from the flames and the esters from the brandy give the shrimp that extra oomph.
Move the shrimp to a bowl, get your pasta cooking, and start on the onions, peppers, and garlic. Once they are soft it’s time to add in the cooked pasta, some pasta water (of course!!), and your seasonings. A few minutes of tossing will give you a lovely, thick sauce and then it’s time to stir the shrimp back in and top with feta and parsley.
A true 30 minute meal.
Why flambe the shrimp?
First of all, if flambeing freaks you out or you just don’t want to do it: DON’T. Only flambe if you’re into it and are in possession of a heat proof pan (no non stick!) and a long match or lighter. Be safe.
That said, there are a few good reasons to flambe:
- It’s fun. Seriously. Dim the lights, get your brandy and pan warm, and watch the flames lick their way around the pan.
- The intense heat of the fire sears, caramelizes, and creates a complex flavor profile. All in just a few minutes!
- Flambeing quickly cooks off much of alcohol, giving your dish a well rounded flavor.
- Flambeing also reduces the brandy quickly, allowing you to reduce the brandy without overcooking the shrimp.
Here is a good article on how to flambe safely.
There you have it!
A simple 30 minute meal, full of flavor, and with the added fun of being able to light it on fire.
– Happy Flambeing, Annemarie
Greek Pasta with Shrimp, Feta, and Olives
- 12 oz thin spaghetti
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided, one with the shrimp, two with the onions
- 1 lb large or extra-large shrimp, shelled and tails removed
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- 2 bell peppers, sliced
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 3 oz feta cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Heat a large pot of water for the spaghetti. Salt it well and cook the pasta to package directions, minus 1 minute. Scoop out 1 cup of pasta water and drain the pasta.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan on medium-high. (DO NOT use nonstick.) Dry the shrimp well and add them to the pan. Saute, turning frequently, for about 1-2 minutes. Your shrimp should be starting to cook, but not be cooked through.
- Dim the lights. This will help you see the flames. Add the brandy to the pan and give a few seconds to warm through, then take the pan off the heat. (And away from any flames if you have a gas cooktop!)
- Using a long match or lighter, carefully light the brandy. Swirl the pan to allow the flames to reach all the brandy. When it goes out, try again and see if you can get the brandy lit. If you can, swirl, and wait. If you can't, you're done and move the shrimp and juices to a bowl.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and heat until it's shimmering. Add the onion, bell pepper, and salt. Saute for 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute more.
- Add the cooked pasta, pasta water, olives, lemon juice, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and the juices from the reserved shrimp to the saute pan. Cook, tossing the pasta often, until the sauce comes together, thickens, and coats the pasta, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the shrimp and let it heat through.
- Add the feta and parsley and toss. Serve.
- I start the pasta water heating, and when it's just about to a boil I flambe the shrimp. Once the shrimp is done, then that's a good time to start cooking the pasta so it's not sitting about for long once the sauce is done.
- Using different colors of bell peppers makes this pasta dish especially pretty. While you want the equivalent of two medium peppers, you can use three or more smaller ones in various shades.