Recently while going through files for some different recipes, I came across a “vintage” one I picked up many years ago at Delicious Orchards in Colts Neck, NJ. It was shrimp Tasca with spaghettini. I’ll admit this dish took me about an hour and a half from start to finish last night. However, in my defense, I used fresh tomatoes to make the sauce. You can save time by just using a 35 ounce can of San Marzano tomatoes (Lidia Bastianich’s favorite type of canned tomatoes). I think you’ll agree that the effort will be worth it for this dish.
The sauce has minced shallots, parsley and garlic, tomato paste, fresh or dried basil, oregano and a bay leaf. Fortunately, my garden basil is still decent and the other herbs, such as oregano, are in a cold frame my husband built and the bay leaf tree has been moved to a sunny room in my home. The tomato sauce needs to cook for 20-30 minutes. I had an oops moment preparing the sauce with the fresh tomatoes. I seeded and chopped them, but neglected to remove their skins. Therefore, after the sauce cooked for 20 minutes, I dug through the sauce and pulled out the skins that came off the chunks of tomato, ugh!
While the sauce was simmering, it was time to prepare the shrimp and get the pasta water going. Into a frying pan I added some oil, red pepper flakes (instead of the hot chili pepper that the recipe called for) and slivers of garlic. Once the oil was infused with those flavors, time to add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper and to sauté until pink. Next into the pan was chopped parsley, finely chopped red pepper (instead of green as the recipe called for) and frozen green peas. After these ingredients simmered for two minutes, they were then incorporated into the tomato sauce. Once the pasta is cooked al dente, I tossed some of the sauce onto the pasta and mixed.
I had forgotten had good this pasta dish was! The varying textures and flavors were wonderful. There was enough shrimp to whet your appetite. My husband thoroughly enjoyed his pasta supper! For a little extra work, I’m sure you’ll also love this dish.
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A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.