Spaghetti with shrimp and cherry tomatoes comes together with so much flavour because of two extra steps taken in this recipe. We are brining the shrimp! Yes, you can brine shrimp (wet or dry) and it is a step that is worth taking. It seasons the shrimp through out and makes for a juicier shrimp. Don’t throw away the shrimp shells, use it to make a quick concentrated stock that will just add more depth of flavour to this recipe. After these two steps the dish comes together quickly and you’ll have a nice plate of pasta to eat!
SPAGHETTI WITH SHRIMP AND CHERRY TOMATOES
Recipe by Mark Calaminici | Food Loves Company
2 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp sugar, optional
4 cups water
1 lb shrimp, deveined and shells removed (save them), chopped
Shrimp Shell Stock
1 tbsp cup extra virgin olive oil
saved shrimp shells
1 ½ cups white wine, your preference, water is optional
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp black peppercorns
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Half of small red onion, finely diced
3 whole garlic cloves, finely sliced
250g cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
chili flakes, to taste
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
4 tbsp butter
1 lb spaghetti
Fresh torn basil, to taste
1. Peel and devein shrimp from their shells. For the wet brine - in a large bowl add water, salt and sugar (optional) and mix to dissolve. Place shrimp into the mixture, place in the fridge for 30-60 minutes. Remove from fridge and remove from brine, do not rinse just place on a plate lined with paper towel and pat dry the shrimp.
2. In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat extra virgin olive oil. Add shrimp shells, bay leaf, black peppercorns and sauté until the shells brown and bubble. Add wine and reduce to half. Strain and remove to a bowl and set aside.
3. In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat extra virgin olive oil. Add garlic, red onion, chili flakes and season with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Once the onions and garlic are tender add cherry tomatoes and cook until tomatoes start to soften and break apart. Add shrimp stock, butter and bring heat down to low and simmer.
4. At this point we can cook our spaghetti according to package instructions. Remove the pasta just before al dente to finish cooking in the sauce.
5. Add shrimp, cooked spaghetti and a little bit of the pasta water. Toss to incorporate all ingredients and to form your sauce, adding more pasta water if needed. The shrimp should take about 3-4 minutes to cook but make sure the shrimp has turned opaque and has curled just a little bit if kept whole. Add fresh torn basil, give one last mix and toss and serve. Enjoy!
Until next time, ciao!