The Italians are masters at cooking simply. With only a handful of ingredients, they can elicit groans of contentment. This linguine with shrimp and fresh tomato sauce is testament to how clean flavours can sing without much coercing.
The recipe comes by way of Fatti’s & Moni’s new Bellisimo Linguine. I’ve slipped in one or two additional ingredients, as is the way with most cooks, I’m sure. That’s what I love about food. You can play with flavours and tweak ingredients to your heart’s content. Baking requires a little more restraint, but with food, there’s no hard and fast rule. Here, I’ve added the zest of one lemon and some juice to sharpen the taste. Lemon has a way of brightening and lifting almost any dish. A smattering of chilli isn’t a bad idea either. Seafood love a splash of white wine, so that went in too. You could also use stock, if you prefer. Perhaps a good fish or vegetable stock will do.
When cooking with few ingredients, it’s worth seeking out the best produce. In this instance, the tomatoes, shrimp and herbs are most important. Roma tomatoes are sweeter and juicier than the salad variety. They’re almost oblong in shape with a true red colour. But, it’s the flavour that sets them apart. As for the herbs, they need to be vibrantly fresh. The sauce is clean and uncomplicated and the work of mere minutes. Once cooked, serve the pasta immediately with plenty, freshly ground black pepper. It couldn’t be easier.
Linguini with Shrimp and fresh Tomato Sauce
Shrimp and Fresh Tomato Sauce
30 g butter
30ml (2 tablespoons) olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
zest of l lemon
a good pinch of dried red chilli flakes
4 Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
100 ml white wine or stock
a generous handful Italian flat leaf parsley, washed and finely chopped
a generous handful fresh basil, washed and roughly chopped, plus extra to serve
450 g shrimps, deveined and shelled, tails on
30ml (2 tablespoons) lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
400 g Fatti’s & Moni’s New Bellisimo Linguine, cooked and drained
Heat the butter and olive oil together. Once the butter starts bubbling, add the garlic and cook for a minute or two, stirring all the while to avoid catching.
Add the lemon zest and chilli, if using and the tomatoes. Season well with salt and black pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the wine and chopped herbs. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until the wine reduces and the tomatoes are softened.
Add the shrimp and simmer until they turn a salmony-pink colour, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then stir in the lemon juice.
Tip Fatti’s & Moni’s Bellisimo Linguine into the sauce and toss to coat. Serve with fresh basil and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
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