Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Caserecce with Spicy Sweet Shrimp & Arugula

Prep/Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves 4

3 cups dry pasta (I used Divella Caserecce)
2-3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter1 red onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
pinch red chili pepper flakes2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced (or any wild mushroom combo you like)
1lb/450g large shrimp, raw, peeled
4-5 sun dried tomatoes (in oil), sliced
6-8 cured black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
handful of arugula
 3/4 cup white wine (I used a Pino Grigio, but Chardonnay would be lovely)
1/4 cup pasta water

1. Cook the pasta in boiling water with a generous amount of salt. It should be al dente (about 7-8 minutes) and drain, reserving 1/4 cup of pasta liquid.

2. In the meantime, heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat and saute the onion, until it is caramelized.  This is a slower process over lower heat so as not to burn the onion.  It still only takes 5 minutes or so.  This brings sweetness to the dish.  Once the onions are caramelized add the garlic, tomatoes, olives red chili pepper flakes.  Toss and cook for another minute or two to marry the flavours before adding the shrimp. 

3.  Add the shrimp and raise the heat to medium high, flip when they start to turn pink on the bottom.  Add the arugula, toss and add the white wine.  Toss again and allow the alcohol to burn off.  

3. Mix well and add the drained pasta to the sauce and toss.  Taste for seasoning.  I add a little of the pasta liquid at this point and cook until the "sauce" is minimal but silky.... about 2 minutes.

It’s great with a simple green salad.

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