Lon and I enjoyed that week in California, from Los Angeles to Napa Valley, so much more than we expected to. Neither of us like driving, but the views were postcard quality, and we broke the drive up into little pieces. Not only does it make the car rides seem short, we got to see and eat through so many little towns. Cambria, sticks out in my mind because it was such an adorable little place that we found by accident. No national chains. No sky scrapers. Knowing that we were tourists, one shop keeper asked, “How ever did you find us?”

Shrimp Pasta with corn, roasted tomatoes, and poblano cream 7

We found them by finding Black Cat Bistro, where the food was surprisingly inventive. We were particularly taken with the Chipotle Shrimp Linguine, an interesting fusion of Italian and South Western flavors. I didn’t have chipotle, but I did roast up some poblanos, and without linguine around, I just used a whole wheat gemelli (the box says gemelli but it doesn’t look as twisted as it should be). I knew it wouldn’t be the same, but it really did capture the spirit and life of this dish. It’s sweet and creamy, just a little underlying heat, and a touch of acid, stealing elegance from the Italian side, and showing fun and festiveness from the South Western parent. It’s truly unique and so addictive. I ate it twice yesterday and I’m thinking about it again today.

Shrimp Pasta with corn, roasted tomatoes, and poblano cream 11

I know this recipe may look like a lot of work because it has different parts, but it’s not difficult parts. It’s about prepping and having all the parts ready, which can all be made a day ahead if you want. When it’s time to assemble, you’ll have dinner on the table in under five minutes.

Shrimp Pasta with Sweet Corn, Roasted Tomatoes, and Poblano Cream
~2 servings

Poblano Cream

  • 2 poblanos (about 2.5 oz each)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Roasted Cherry or Grape Tomatoes

  • 12 oz cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt

Assembly

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups cooked gemelli
  • 2/3 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 12 large shrimp
  • kosher salt and white pepper to taste

Instructions -

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roast, peel, seed poblanos. Put in the food processor bowl.

2. Heat cream in a small sauce pot until just bubbling at the edges. Pour the cream in food processor bowl. Process until the poblano bits are small and the cream is a little foamy. Set aside.

poblano cream

3. Place tomatoes in an oven-safe dish. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until the tomato skins are falling off. Cool the tomatoes for 5 minutes or until you can safely touch them. Remove and discard the skins. Set aside.

roasted tomatoes

4. Have all the ingredients ready before you start.

poblano cream roasted tomatoes 3
raw shrimp corn cut off the cob 2

Heat olive oil in a 12″ skillet on medium high heat. Add garlic and swirl. Add tomatoes (with liquid from roasting), pasta, and a generous sprinkling of salt. Swirl around and break the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Add shrimp and corn. Toss until shrimp just turn pink all the way through. Add 1/3 cup poblano cream and toss. Check seasoning and serve immediately.

fork on shrimp

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