Pasta with Aleppo Pepper Shrimp, Spicy Kalamata Olives & Sun-dried Tomatoes
Hands on time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: as long as it takes to boil the pasta
12oz/340g large raw shrimp (bag of 31-40), peeled, rinsed & drained
1-2 tbsp Aleppo pepper (Middle Eastern, smoky & mildly spicy – red in color)
½ box (12oz/340g) fusilli or whatever your favorite short pasta – I used Kamut & Quinoa, but it overpowered the “sauce”…go for a milder pasta
Sauce: (I use the term loosely)
2 tbsp or so good quality extra virgin olive oil
18-20 thin spears fresh asparagus
½ cup spicy marinated Kalamata olives, pitted & chopped (or add red chili pepper flakes & thin garlic slices to canned – drain first)
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes (I prefer the ones packed in oil), coarsely chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp lemon zest (zest of 1 large lemon)
Handful of fresh basil leaves, chiffonade (roll leaves like a cigar, thinly slice across the roll)
½ - ¾ cup dry white wine
Freshly ground pepper
Lemon wedges to squeeze at the table
1. Cook the pasta according to the package.
2. In the meantime, toss the shrimp & Aleppo pepper in a bowl and set aside.
3. Lightly oil a grill pan and grill the asparagus spears over high heat until they turn bright green and you see lovely black char marks. Remove from pan and slice across into 2” lengths.
4. (I used the same grill pan to avoid cleaning an extra pan, but you might want to use a non stick skillet for the rest of the sauce). Grill the shrimp until they turn pink (3-4 minutes) and add the olives, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes & lemon zest. Toss for a minute and add the white wine. Scrape, incorporating all the stuck on Aleppo. Allow it to come to a boil and reduce the wine until there’s no more alcohol smell…just heavenly aroma of all those ingredients (2-3 minutes).
5. Drain the pasta and transfer to a serving bowl, Add the sauce & basil and toss. Taste and adjust seasoning. I liked a lot of lemon juice squirted over my serving.
Very nice with a mixed green salad with some arugula in it and lots of fresh herbs.