Angel’s Snack

“Zidane, this place only rocks and sand. I eat star sand once, but sand here not food. Water look clean.”

Quina, FFIX


  • 1 lemon
  • 8 ounces dried pasta, such as angel hair or linguine
  • 3 tablespoons light olive oil, divided (not EVOO)
  • 1 large shallot
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 16 ounces wild shrimp
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 ounces strong blue cheese, such as Gorgonzola


Bring a medium sauce pot of generously salted water to a boil. While the water is boiling, zest the lemon and squeeze 3–4 tablespoons of juice.

Add the pasta and cook per package directions, approximately 2 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup cooking water before draining the pasta. Return pasta to the pot and toss with 1 tablespoon of oil to keep from sticking. While the water heats and the pasta cooks, prepare the vegetables. Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Wash and slice mushrooms. Wash the asparagus and snap off and discard the woody ends.

In a wok or large frying pan over high heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil until hot but not smoking. Add the shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook until starting to soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook, stirring frequently until beginning to char, about 5 minutes. While the vegetables are cooking, rinse and drain the shrimp. Pat dry on paper towels.

Push the vegetables to the sides of the pan, making space for the shrimp. Warm 1 tablespoon oil until hot but not smoking. Add the shrimp and red pepper and cook, turning once, until just opaque, about 30 seconds per side. Add the pasta, reserved cooking water, lemon zest and juice, and blue cheese. Toss to combine. Transfer to bowls and serve with more freshly ground black pepper.