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accelerated, expeditious, perfunctory…

I realized as I was deciding what to name this dish that I use the words “quick” “fast” and “easy” way too often! I remember reading, some years ago, that the average person’s vocabulary is actually quite limited. So I did a little research… and when I say research, it means I “Googled” it, and here is one thing I found:

Average Vocabulary Count
Grade 1 Student = 1,000+ words
Normal Person (Graduate) = 5,000 to 6,000+ words
University Professor = 15,000+ words
Spelling Bee Winners = 30,000+
Shakespeare used 60,000 words
College Dictionary (Abridged) = 50,000 – 70,000
Total Words in English Language = 250,000+ (Growing)

I have no idea how accurate any of those numbers are, but I do know that my own vocabulary is extremely limited.  I use the same words over and over and over again … see what I mean? Although my “easy-breezy” category, which this dish fits into, would just sound all wrong if it was “perfunctory-breezy”, now wouldn’t it?!

Shrimp Pasta Pronto

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup half and half
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8-ounces dry spaghetti
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and onions; sauté until onions are translucent about 4 minutes. Add garlic and thyme; stir for 1 minute. Add half and half and raise heat to high, boiling to reduce the liquid by 1/3, about 6 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add tomatoes, peas, and shrimp; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, until shrimp are just opaque in the center and peas, are heated through, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Ladle out 1/4 cup pasta cooking water and reserve. Drain pasta; return to pot.

Add shrimp mixture and toss to blend. Add some of the reserved cooking water to the pasta if desired to thin out the sauce. Stir in basil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer pasta to bowl and serve.

Serves 4

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