“Eww, I’m not going to eat that. Why do your shrimps have tails?”
Yep, food bomb: #121, career killing confession: #23 and mom fail: #500+
My shrimps? I mean, I guess it’s not that unusual that my 9 year-old doesn’t want to see his food actually resemble an animal. But really? I’ve done a terrible job as a mom with that, especially since I grew eating all kinds of meat with all kinds of things still attached.
But in my defense of this recipe, it’s solid. It’s an adaptation from Bon Appetit. I made a few minor changes to it by swapping out the Nduja sauce for anchovy paste and then added in some veggies to temper the umami flavoring a bit. And I always prefer to plate my pasta with fresh greens mixed in, not on the side, and threw in some mini heirloom tomatoes for a hint of sweetness and contrast. But feel free to skip the plating add-ins and serve it as is.
Yield: Serves 4
Recipe adapted from here:
- 1 pound shell-on shrimp
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 6 garlic cloves, divided, 2 smashed, 4 thinly sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup sliced red peppers
- 1 cup puréed whole peeled tomatoes
- 4 ounces anchovy paste
- Kosher salt
- 1 lb penne pasta
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
To make stock: Peel and devein shrimp, save shells; set shrimp aside. In a medium sauce pan over medium high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil and cook smashed garlic, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute. Add saved shrimp shells, cook and stir until bright pink, about 2 minutes. Add bay leaf and 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until stock is slightly reduced and flavorful, 8–10 minutes. Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve; discard solids.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add sliced mushrooms and red peppers, cook and stir until soft. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat and carefully add tomatoes and 1 cup stock (mixture may sputter). Return to heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is beginning to thicken, about 3 minutes. Add anchovy paste, using a wooden spoon to work it into the sauce. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors have melded, about 3 minutes. Stir in reserved shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until opaque, about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1 1/2 cups pasta cooking liquid.
Add pasta and 1 cup pasta cooking liquid to sauce and cook, tossing often and adding more cooking liquid to help finish cooking pasta, until pasta is al dente and sauce is thickened (but still saucy) and coats pasta, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice. Taste and season with salt and pepper.