Spaghetti con Gamberetti
In Aglio, Olio e Peperocino
Recipe and photos by Tom Weber
Admit it, you'd love nothing better than to travel to
southern Italy, but the purse strings are knotted a bit too tight right
now for you to board an Alitalia (Always Late In Takeoffs
And Landings, If Available) flight and take
off for the Bel Paese.
Am I right?
Have no fear, my short-order cook alter ego, Lazy Person
(LP), has a quick-'n'-easy pasta dish that'll have you feeling like
you're on La Penisola without ever having to leave the comfort
of your Barcalounger.
To me, nothing says "Mediterranean diet" better
than olive oil, garlic and spicy red pepper.
These "three of the Ave Maria" are just straight
forward, basic ingredients found in anyone's kitchen that hails from
the lower third of the Boot across the Strait of Messina onto the island
of Sicily. From these cornerstone ingredients, along with juicy vine-ripened
tomatoes, pours forth authentic southern Italian cuisine.
Along with garlic the "Queen of the kitchen"
extra-virgin olive oil and spicy red pepper, we'll throw in some
gamberetti (small shrimp), sauté it all together and pour
it over, around and through al dente strands of semolina
(durum wheat flour) spaghetti No. 5.
Look, people pay good money to board a plane, sit with
their knees practically in their face for hours on end, check into a
hotel, and then go in search of an incredibly delicious plate of pasta
like the one we're about to create just for you.
Now, if you'll grab an apron and your boarding pass
first class seating only our skipper (LP) is standing
by in the cockpit to get this 20-min., non-stop dish underway.
Step-1: Fill a large pot with water, cover and
fire it up to HIGH heat and bring it to a boil.
Step-2: Peel, rinse and pat-dry the shrimp
Step-3: Rinse, dry and finely chop the parsley.
Step-4: Peel the garlic cloves and run them through
a garlic press.
Step-5: In a skillet, add the extra-virgin olive
oil, garlic, spicy-hot red pepper and a healthy pinch of sea salt, then
fire up to MEDIUM heat and stir-watch-and-stir until garlic begins to
Step-6: Add the shrimp and let them redden up
a bit (about 1-min.).
Step-7: Add the white wine, 1/2 of the chopped
parsley and continue cooking until the liquid reduces (about 4 min.).
Turn off heat and wait for Step-10.
Step-8: Water is now boiling, Uncover pot, add
1 tbsp. of sea salt and the spaghetti and stir vigorously to ensure
strands separate. Continue cooking for 7 min.
Step-9: Skim off 2 tbsp. of the foamy pasta water and add it
to the shrimp mix in the skillet.
Step-10: At the 7-min. mark drain the spaghetti
and place in the skillet with the shrimp, fire heat back up to MEDIUM
and sauté for 1-min.
Step-11: Plate, top each portion with a sprinkle
of chopped parsley and serve.
Step-12: BUON APETITO!
Recommended Wine Pairing: Collio DOC Mongris Pinot
Felluga Winery Gradisca D'Isonszo (GO), Italy
Although the original vineyard planted its first roots
back in the 1800s, the Marco Felluga Winery was formally established
in 1956. Today, owner Roberto Felluga and vintner Raffaella Bruno produce
some of the most splendid award-winning wines in the area thanks to
a combination of their experience handling the grape, the mineral-rich
soil and the estate's close proximity to the Adriatic coast.
A signature varietal from the Friuli Venezia Giulia
region of Italy's upper northeast, Collio DOC Mongris Pinot Grigio
is golden-yellow in color with copper tones. Its bouquet is intense
and immediate with hints of acacia flowers, golden apples and rosemary.
On the palate, it is elegantly fruity, full-bodied and well structured
with a remarkably long finish.
Collio DOC Mongris Pinot Grigio pairs
well with all types of fish-based antipasto, soups, pasta dishes and
grilled main courses, but goes especially well with crustaceans and
mollusks. Aside from complimenting the dinner table, Pinot Grigio is
one of the Bel Paese's preferred wines to have as a midday or
early evening aperitivo (aperitif).