Shrimp Pasta with Tomatoes, Lemon and Spinach

What it took for 2:

* 1/2 pound extra large shrimp, thawed, peeled and deveined
* 2 tsp lemon zest, divided
* 1 pinch crushed red pepper
* 1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped
* 1 sprig fresh oregano, leaves removed and chopped
* 2 basil leaves, torn
* 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
* 4 cups baby spinach
* 2 Tbs. lemon juice (or more!)
* 1/2 pound angel hair pasta
* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

On a plate, toss the shrimp with the crushed red pepper, half the lemon zest, chopped herbs and a pinch of salt and pepper. Let it sit while you start the rest.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add the garlic and bloom 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes along the remaining lemon zest. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and saute for 2 minutes.

Add the shrimp in a single layer and sear on one side for 2 minutes. Flip and sear another minute, or until shrimp is cooked through. Keep tossing the tomatoes just a little bit.

In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the angel hair until al dente, maybe 5 minutes. Drain all but about 1/2 cup of the pasta water and toss with the shrimp and tomato mixture, along with the spinach. Squeeze a lot of lemon juice right in. Season with coarse salt and pepper. Add as much pasta water as you want to create a thin, glorious sauce.

Serve it with more lemon juice, crusty bread and for heaven’s sake, fresh parmesan cheese.

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