1BunchAsparagusrinsed, woody stems removed, and chopped into bite-sized pieces
6Clovesof Garlicpeeled and chopped
1HandfulFresh Basil Leaves or 2 Tbsp. Dried Basil
Salt & Pepper
Peel and de-vein your shrimp and set aside in bowl filled with cold water.
In a large dutch oven, add water to cook your pasta according to your package directions. But don't light the fire yet! Wait until you've prepared the sauce.
For the Marinara Sauce:
In a saucepan on medium-high, add olive oil. Once it heats up, add your chopped garlic. Now this step is key -- saute the garlic for about 30 seconds -- that's it! As soon as you smell the garlic, add those tomatoes! Otherwise your sauce will go from sweet and delicious to bitter and nasty quick. Add in a teaspoon of salt and pepper (you can taste again later and add more as necessary). Add in your fresh or dried basil and cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Now, drain the water from the shrimp and add in an even layer to your sauce. Poke the shrimp down into the sauce, cover again, and let cook for an additional 5 minutes. Shrimp cook fast! The flavor of the sauce will coat the shrimp and make them taste out of this world.
Meanwhile, as your shrimp begins to cook, add fire to your pasta water and cook pasta according to package instructions. In the last three minutes of cooking, add the asparagus to the pasta water! Boom! Drain in a colander, and return pasta and asparagus back to the pot.
Add your shrimp marinara to the pot and give it a taste. If it needs more salt and pepper, add it in! Taste and repeat until it's just right. Your shrimp and asparagus marinara with mini bow tie pasta is ready!
So right about now most chefs will tell you to add some pretty basil leaves for a garnish and that's awesome if you're looking to impress. But in our house, we just plain serve it up and dig in!