Recipe: Solo shrimp
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 24 large, perfect Gulf Coast shrimp with heads on (about 2 pounds)
- Sea salt, preferably gray salt, or kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons sliced garlic
- 2 teaspoons Calabrian chile paste), or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 10 cups Shrimp Stock (recipe below)
- 1 pound chitarra pasta
- 3 tablespoons finely shredded fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
- 6 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Set a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.
2 Heat a very large sauce pan or Dutch oven over high heat and add the olive oil. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and add 8 to 12 shrimp to the pan. Cook just until they turn pink, 1 to 2 minutes.
3 Take one out and taste it; as soon as they're cooked through, transfer the shrimp to a plate using a wire skimmer or slotted spoon. Repeat with the second batch of shrimp. When the second batch has cooked, transfer to the plate and add the garlic to the pan.
4 Cook until golden, then add the chile paste. Add the shrimp stock and cook to reduce by half, about 10 minutes.
5 While the sauce reduces, add the pasta to the boiling water. Cook for half the time suggested on the pasta package; drain. Using tongs, add the pasta to the pan with the sauce, gently tossing, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. (It still has another 2 minutes to cook with the herbs, so don't overcook the pasta in the sauce.) Add the basil, tarragon, and parsley and stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper. Return the shrimp to the pan and cook for 2 minutes.
6 Remove from the heat and divide among pasta bowls to serve.
Chef's note: Remember that pasta (like meat) will continue to cook after you take it off the heat. Read the directions on your pasta package. If the package advises 10 minutes, cook it for 5 minutes in the water and for another 3 minutes in the pan. I always leave a hint of crunch to my pasta for some room to let it finish cooking in the sauce.
Ingredients for shrimp stock
Makes about 3 quarts
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 pound of the least expensive good fresh shrimp you can find, or 1/2 pound shrimp and 1/2 pound shrimp shells
- 4 cups coarsely chopped yellow onion (about 2 large onions)
- 2 cups peeled and coarsely chopped carrots (about 3 large carrots)
- 2 cups coarsely chopped celery (about 4 stalks)
- 1 cup Pernod
- 1 1/2 cups Tomato Passata
- 1 gallon fresh water
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
Directions for shrimp stock
1 In a stockpot, heat 1⁄4 cup of the oil over medium high heat. Add the shrimp (or the combination of shrimp and shells) and sauté until the shrimp turns pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Empty the contents onto a baking sheet. Add the remaining 1⁄4 cup olive oil to the pot and sauté the onion, carrots, and celery until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add any juice that's collected on the sheet under the shrimp.
2 Add the Pernod, increase the heat to high, and cook until the liquid is reduced by about three-fourths.
3 Add the tomato passata and return to a boil. Add the water, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
4 Return the sautéed shrimp (or the shrimp and shells) to the pot and cook for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool, and strain through a chinois or fine-mesh strainer.
5 Store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Wine pairing: Chardonnay
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Excerpted from Michael Chiarello's Bottega by Michael Chiarello, Ann Krugger Spivack and Claudia Sansone. Copyright © 2010 by Michael Chiarello, Ann Krugger Spivack and Claudia Sansone . Photo Copyright © 2010 by Frankie Frankeny. Excerpted by permission of Chronicle Books. All rights reserved.