Spaghetti with Shrimp and Black Olives

Spaghetti with Shrimp and Black Olives

This recipe actually comes from an Italian cookbook called; The Splendid Table. The author suggests that the shrimps can actually be served without pasta, and it would make a decent main course.

This recipe actually surpassed my expectations, I’m not a huge seafood lover, so i was very happy to eat this pasta.

For the Misenplace:

Peel about 1 pound of extra-large shrimp, remove the “sand” vein that runs down the back, and rinse off thoroughly. Place the shells you removed from the shrimp in a large sauce pan and set aside.

Add 3 cups of chicken stock and 3/4 cup of white wine to the pan with the shells and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, lower heat to low, and allow stock to simmer until reduced down to 1 cup.

For the recipe:

In a large saute pan, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil until it begins to ripple. Next add a few cloves of garlic and cook until garlic is golden brown, making sure to rub and smash the garlic into the saute pan. Once the garlic is golden brown, discard it, but keep the oil.

Now add 1 onion, chopped, 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, 2 sprigs of fresh marjoram and 2 leaves of fresh sage to the garlic infused oil and cook until the onions become translucent.

It should take about 15 minutes for the onions to soften and caramelize.

Add your shrimp of choice, I used 1 pound of “extra jumbo” shrimp. They seemed a bit small to me to be true “jumbos” but that’s tit for tat right now.

Cook the shrimp for no more than 1 minute, 60 seconds. don’t walk away, don’t pour a glass of Dr. Brown’s root beer, just wait. Once they begin to turn pink, remove them from the pan and set them aside. The reason we do this is because we want our shrimp to be succulent, not rubbery. Also discard the rosemary and sage leaves, but keep the marjoram sprigs in the pan.

Now add the shrimp stock we made earlier from the shrimp shells and bring to a simmer.

Open a tin of peeled “San Marzano” tomatoes and crush each tomato in your hand before adding to the pan. Just be careful, the juices squirt everywhere. Again, bring to a simmer.

Now add in about 10 rinsed and chopped Gaeta olives.Obviously you can add more, but try not to over do it, the olives can overpower the flavors  we are trying to create here.

Add about 10 cranks of freshly ground black pepper, a generous pinch of crushed red pepper. Also add the partially cooked shrimp back into the sauce and cook for another 60 seconds.

To finish the sauce, sprinkle freshly squeezed lemon juice over top of the sauce.

I suggest that you already have your pasta cooked and waiting for the sauce. If you choose to do it the other way, you risk the shrimp turning to a rubbery consistency. I decided to use spaghetti and it worked out just fine.

Some notes:

  • I don’t really think it’s necessary to remove the herbs early from the sauce, so if it seems weird, just go with the flow.
  • Easy on the olives, seriously. and they don’t have to be “Gaeta” I just happen to have from lying around.
  • The original recipe states to cut the shrimp into thirds, I thought that was useless, and don’t really think it’s needed.
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