Jason, of Just Cook NYC, a friend in my head food blogger, is obsessed with shrimp pasta. Chances are at least once a week there is another variation on this versatile dish and each post is easy, delicious, photographed mouth wateringly and inspiring. A few days ago he posted Ellie's Spicy Shrimpy Pasta. That night like a loyal blog follower, I defrosted some shrimp and made my own shrimp pasta.
Once you start making shrimp pasta it really becomes a go-to dish because its so easily made with ingredients you most likely have on hand. Every time its a little different based on what I have in the kitchen. Lately you might have noticed that I have been using sake in my recipes. Its not because I have any particular affinity for sake, its probably the opposite. I am always rooting around in the fridge looking for some wine, but I really don't drink white, which would be the wine of choice for shrimp pasta, and red wine usually doesn't make it to the following day. Also, I would feel uncomfortable leaving an open bottle of wine in my fridge for as long as the open bottle of sake has been in there, over 6 month at least. Blame it on the ah-ah-uh-ah... okay I am annoying myself. The sake imparts a distinct not-to-sweet flavor, more present than white wine, and stands up well to the cream and garlic. This would be a great sauce for mussels. Maybe with a little curry and dill, too. So here's the easiest recipe for Creamy Sake Shrimpy Pasta.
CREAMY SAKE PASTA WITH SHRIMP
2 TBSP butter
2-3 cloves of garlic chopped
dash of peperoncino
1 TBSP tomato paste
2 TBSP water
1/4 C. sake
1/2 C. heavy cream
8-10 shrimp, cleaned, peel, deveined and seasoned with salt and pepper.
salt and pepper
1/2 lb. angel hair, spaghetti or fettucini
Start boiling your water for the pasta. Sautee the garlic and peperoncino in butter. Add the tomato paste and a little water to make a thick sauce. Add the sake and reduce a few minutes. Add the cream and reduce on low. Season with salt and pepper. When the cream bubbles, add the shrimp. Don't move the shrimp around. Let it rest and absorb all the of creamy goodness. (Check your pasta water, if its boiling start cooking the pasta.) When the shrimp turns pink on the bottom, flip each shrimp just once, or you will have rubbery shrimp. When you think the shrimp is almost done, turn off the flame and take the shrimp off the heat. DO NOT OVERCOOK THE SHRIMP! You can add a little more butter if you want to maximize your chance of a heart attack. By this point your pasta should be al dente. Drain and plate the pasta then add the creamy sauce, a few shrimp and garnish with parsley.