While cleaning out a drawer in my desk, I came across a folder with several recipes that I have never prepared.
Some of the recipes I found, I have eaten, but never prepared. There was one recipe in particular, that I have heard about, but never tasted. The recipe was for Shrimp and Angel Hair Pasta. The recipe was hand-written and given to me by my friend, Rita’s mother-in-law, Estella. (Everyone just calls her, “Stella”) Through the years, Stella has been kind enough to share several of her recipes with me…Two of them were “cookbook worthy” and can be found on pages 62 and 83 of my book. One of those recipes is titled “Estella’s Angel Hair Pasta with Tomatoes”. The recipe I found, which incudes shrimp, is a variation of the other recipe. There is some debate as to which recipe came first, but there is no arguing that both are to die for! Rita tells me that Stella prepares this shrimp pasta dish on Christmas Eve, as her offering for the Feast of the Seven Fishes, (an Italian tradition.) and everyone raves about it. I knew Monday, when I found the recipe, that this would be my Sunday dinner. I served it with a salad and garlic bread…YUM!
The pasta was amazing! It was very simple to make and ready to serve in an hour. The sauce was light, yet full of flavor. The shrimp were the perfect addition to turn this dish into a complete meal. I can actually visualize adding scallops and mussells the next time I make it and turning it into a Seafood Pasta.
As usual, I tweaked the recipe, just a tad…My husband is not a fan of angel hair pasta. It’s tricky to prepare and turns in to a ball of mush if you let it sit too long. I agreed, and I made standard spaghetti noodles instead. I also added crushed red pepper flakes for a little kick and cooked the sauce longer than the recipe called for. It was perfection!
Estella’s Pasta with Shrimp and Tomatoes
- 1 lb. spaghetti noodles (feel free to use Angel Hair if you like)
- 1 1/4 lb. uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined, with tails removed
- 1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 (14.5-oz) cans petite diced tomatoes
- 5 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 c. dry white wine (I used sherry)
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet, over medium heat, saute olive oil and garlic; cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid burning the garlic. Add tomatoes, green onions, wine, red pepper flakes and basil. Bring sauce to a simmer, stirring frequently, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes. Add the shrimp to the sauce, stir and cook for 4-5 minutes, turning the shrimp to cook on both sides. The shrimp will be pink when they are cooked. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to suit your taste buds.
While the sauce is cooking, cook your spaghetti according to the directions on the package. Cook al dente. Drain cooked pasta and combine with sauce. Toss well, making sure to coat all the pasta. Sprinkle with parmesan or romano cheese and more chopped fresh basil. Makes 4-5 servings.