Jumbo easy peal shrimp was on sale this week at Fairway. What is easy peel? It’s shrimp that has been de-veined, but the shell is left on. Why am I happy about this? 60% (or it seems that much) of the flavor ,when cooking shrimp, comes from the shell. Think of it like cooking a chop or a roast on the bone. That said who wants to peel shrimp as they eat their pasta? Not me …
- 1 lb of jumbo or 15/20 count shrimp
- a pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
- about a half of diced hot vinegar cherry pepper
- 1 small carrot diced
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 rib of celery ( a smaller rib with the leaves from the heart ) diced
- 2 cloves of garlic both smashed
- dry white wine about a half a cup
- bay leaf
- parsley chopped
- 1 lb of pasta. Long or short it does not matter. (spend at least $2 on your pasta please)
Shhhhh this is the secret to the best shrimp and pasta ; SHRIMP STOCK
- Separate the shrimp from the shell cut them in half put them in a covered bowl and refrigerate. Put the shells in a small pot say 1 or 2 quarts in size.
- Dice up the celery, parsley stems, carrot, onion and smash a clove of garlic.
- Toss all of this into the pot with the shells and cover it with water.
- Add a bay leaf a pinch of salt and few grinds of pepper.
- Put the pot over low heat and let it simmer for a half hour or so.
- Strain the stock when you are ready to use it, you should have about 2 cups of stock.
- Bring your pasta pot up to a boil.
- In a pan / pot large enough to hold the pound of pasta, sauté the halved cherry tomatoes in olive oil over medium to high heat until they start to break down, then add the chilies and the other clove of garlic, add salt and black pepper –
- Sauté for another minute ( add your pasta to the pot now ) – add the white wine and let reduce until the sauce has tightened or thickened.
- Test the pasta as you are going along take it out of the water with a bout 2 or 3 minutes before it is ready to your taste.
- Once the pasta is out, turn the heat up on the sauce and add a cup of your homemade shrimp stock, bring the sauce to a boil and add the shrimp. cook for about 3 or 4 minutes.
- Take the shrimp out of the sauce and put aside, you don’t want them to be overcooked
- Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to coat, If you need you can add a bit more stock or pasta water but there should be be very little, if any sauce left in the bottom of the pan. Check for salt & pepper.
- If you feel fancy shmancy you can put splash of brandy in at the last minute as well
- Put the shrimp back, toss the pasta with more parsley and serve.
Taste taste taste…this all about the ingredients you will or should taste each of them, adjust accordingly.