For Rebekah and I, this dish is our most intensely romantic meal… it was the meal that began everything for us as a couple.
For this little feast, we used our favorite shrimps… the colossal Argentinian Red Shrimp, but you can use any wild caught shrimp, which tastes much better than farmed. The real secret is to use reduced broth from boiled down shrimp shells, saved from the previous feast. We freeze that nectar of the gods for the next Italian pasta… and the feasts tumble forward. First we very gently saute the huge shrimps in high quality olive oil and tons of garlic, (really a scampi) and when they are plump and just close to being done, we remove them and set aside. Then we add that incredibly intense broth, along with Chardonnay and more high quality Italian olive oil and garlic, reduce and then add butter and fresh lemon till married, and when whisked together forms a beautiful creamy sauce. To that we add Italian parsley, capers, fresh tomatoes or Basque Paquillo peppers. Now we add back the shrimps and the pasta, mix together, add fresh basil, shaved Parmigiano Reggiano and serve with crusty bread. Sublime.
2 pounds shrimp in their shells, headless, de-veined (We like Gulf Shrimp, Red Argentinian, or any wild caught. If you have the shells from previous meals, boil them down with 5 cups of water till you have 2 cups, and use that broth for this dish.)
1 pound capellini (Angel Hair pasta)
1 tablespoon mirin or 1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon anchovy paste or fish sauce (we use Red Boat)
4 garden fresh tomatoes, (with thick flesh and less juice, like dry farmed Early Girl, or 8 Campari hot house tomatoes) or 4 red bell peppers, cut into 1 by 2 inch pieces
2 cups reduced shrimp broth or 2 cups clam juice
1 juicy lemon, squeezed
4 to 5 cloves garlic, crushed
12 oz white wine, (we like Chardonnay for this meal)
1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil, extra virgin
1 cup chopped Italian parsley or basil
2 tablespoons capers (optional)
1/2 stick butter, about 2 ounces
In a large pan, bring to boil 3 quarts of water, with 2 or 3 tablespoons of salt, and boil the pasta until just al dente. Strain into a colander, rinse with cold water, shake loose and set aside.
In a 12 inch fry or saute´ pan, add the olive oil and the crushed garlic. Heat slowly till just foaming and aromatic. Add the shrimp broth or clam broth, mirin, anchovy or fish sauce and the Chardonnay, reduce by 1/3, about five minutes.
Add the butter and simmer until married.
Now add the lemon juice, whisk very gently, and allow the sauce to form a creamy texture.
Add the already salted shrimp, fresh tomatoes or red bell peppers, Italian parsley and capers, salt and black pepper, and simmer until married.
Remove from the heat. The shrimp will fully cook in the pan before serving, but will remain plump, crunchy and perfect.
Place pasta on top of sauce, stir in and serve with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Enjoy!