6 pieces of bacon, cut into small pieces
1 lb of shrimp - peeled, deveined, and tails off
1 teaspoon of dried or fresh dill
1 lb of asparagus- stems trimmed and cut into small pieces
1 shallot, minced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lb of acini de pepe (or any small shaped pasta like orzo or pastina)
4 cups of seafood stock (or chicken/vegetable stock)
1.5 cups of water
1 cup of chopped marinated artichoke hearts
1 lb of cooked crab meat (canned or prepared lump crab)
2-3 tablespoons of chives, minced
Parmesan cheese- as much or as little as you like
Salt and pepper, to taste
Extra virgin olive oil
Serving size- 4-6
- Start by taking out a LARGE saute pan, and add the chopped bacon pieces to a cold pan. Bring up the heat to medium high and cook the bacon until crispy. Once it's cooked, remove from the pan, set aside, and drain almost all the fat, leaving about 1 tablespoon left. Then, season your shrimp with salt and pepper to taste, plus 1 teaspoon of fresh or dried dill. Add the shrimp to the pan with the bacon fat and cook on each side for about 2-3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside. Next, add in the asparagus pieces into the same pan, and add the zest of 1 lemon, plus a little salt and pepper. Cook until softened to your liking, I think about 3-4 minutes on high heat. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- If the pan seems a little dry at this point, add some olive oil. Then, add your chopped shallot and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until tender. Then, add the garlic and acini de pepe and cook for 1-2 minutes. Now it's time to add our liquids. Add in 4 cups of seafood stock, 1.5 cups of water, and the juice of 1 lemon. Mix, bring the pan up to a boil, then down to a simmer, cover and let the pasta absorb the liquids. Check on the pan and stir every minute or so, so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Cook until the liquid is absorbed and you have yourself some glossy, delicious, acini de pepe! You can add more stock/water if you think the consistency is too dry. Chop up the artichoke hearts while this process is happening.
- Once the acini de pepe is cooked, add the bacon (leave a little to garnish), shrimp, asparagus, artichokes, crab meat, chives, Parmesan cheese, juice of 1 lemon (this is optional, but I LOVE a strong citrus flavor, so if you do not, don't add the additional lemon), and a pinch more salt and pepper. Combine and taste for seasonings.
- Garnish with the leftover bacon, chives, and Parmesan cheese and try not to eat this whole thing in one sitting!