I feel my recipes have been a bit complicated lately. Very Asian, mortar and pestle heavy–I asked you to make your own cheese. So I’ve decided to keep it simple tonight. However, I have to push you a little bit, and will ask you to make a quick stock. It will add a considerable amount of flavor to the dish, however, and only take a few minutes. This dish has clean, simple flavors, and is perfect for the summertime. It has a bit of heat, and you can feel slightly exotic because it uses Thai basil. You can use whole uncleaned shrimp rather than ez-peel, if you don’t mind cleaning them, but I don’t think it’s necessary.
- canola oil
- 1 lb small, ez-peel shrimp
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 1 cup flour in a shallow dish
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 shallots, thinly sliced
- several thai chilis, stems, seeds and veins removed, minced
- chiffonade of several leaves Thai basil
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- extra virgin olive oil
- medium saucepan
- colander lined with cheesecloth or clean kitchen towels
- large bowl
- pasta pot
- large skillet
1) Make a quick shrimp stock. Peel the shrimp and remove the tails, reserving both the shells and tails. Heat a few tbs of canola oil in the medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shrimp tails and shells, and sautee for a few minutes. Add the celery, onion, carrots and tomato paste, stirring to combine with a wooden spatula. When the vegetables soften add 2 cups water, raise the heat to high, and maintain a boil for ten minutes. Allow the contents of the saucepan to cool for a few minutes and pour into the cloth-lined colander set over a large bowl. Press on the solids with a spatula, extracting as much flavorful liquid as possible. Reserve stock.
2) Brown the shrimp. Dredge the shrimp on the flour. Add a few tbs of canola oil to the skillet over high heat. When smoking hot add the shrimp in a single layer after shaking off excess flour. Cook for 30 seconds on each side just to get a bit of color. Transfer to a paper towel and reserve.
3) Sautee the aromatics, as you bring a well-salta pot of water to a boil. In a large skillet over medium low heat, sautee the shallots, garlic and chili in canola oil until soft.
4) Reduce the shrimp stock, as the pasta cooks. Add a 1/2 pound of pasta to the rapidly boiling water. Add 1 cup of shrimp stock to the skillet and raise heat to high. As the pasta cooks, allow the stock to reduce, adding a few tbs of pasta water if the aromatics threaten to stick.
5) Finish the pasta in the skillet. When the pasta is just short of al dente, add a ladleful of pasta water to the skillet. Drain the pasta, and add the linguini to the skillet. Toss the contents of the skillet to coat the pasta. Add the reserved shrimp and toss. When the pasta water has reduced, and the sauce coats the pasta, remove from the heat. Add a tbs of olive oil, the juice of 1/2 lemon, and the Thai basil. Toss the contents of the skillet several times to emulsify the sauce and fully incorporate the ingredients. Transfer to serving dishes and garnish with additional Thai basil.Follow @icinthedark