Sunday, August 11, 2013

Prawns with Garlic, Oil, and Hot Peppers over Spaghetti - (Scampi alla Veneziana)

Another take on a recipe from one of my main sources for recipes, Patricia Wells' Trattoria. This is a simple yet delicious idea for a weeknight dinner if you can stop by a fishmonger on the way home from work for some good quality shrimp.

garlic and thyme

drying the rinsed shrimp

seasoning the oil

adding the shrimp

adding the pasta water to loosen the fond

combining the shrimp back into the cooked pasta

12-15 shrimp, U-10/15 count size
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
kosher or sea salt
1/2 pound spaghetti
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, chopped coarsely

For this recipe, I peeled the shrimp but left the tails on. Then I used a paring knife to just barely slice down enough to remove the 'veins'.
Rinse the shrimp then allow to dry on paper towels.
Heat a large pot of salted water in which to cook the pasta. Once the water is boiling add the pasta and cook a minute short of the time recommended on the box. Just before the pasta is done remove a cup of the pasta water to set aside 
While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet, heat the oil over a medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot but not yet smoking, add the minced garlic, thyme, red peppers, then the shrimps. Toss the coat everything with the oil and let the shrimps cook just past turning color then turn each one to complete cooking on the other side. This should only take about 1-2 minutes per side. You want to just barely cook the shrimp as it is too easy to overcook them.
Remove the shrimp and set aside. Add a touch of the pasta water to the pan in order to loosen up the fond. Once the pasta is done, drain it in a colander then add to the pan, adding about a half cup more of the pasta water. Let the pasta cook for another minute while the water reduces completely leaving only the oil. Add the shrimp back in, sprinkle the chopped parsley on top, stir to combine everything while heating through, and serve immediately drizzling a bit more olive oil if you want.

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