~ An Awesome Angry Sauce: Arrabbiata (w/Shrimp)~
If you are a person that likes your food "extra spicy", asks the chef to "add extra heat" to your meal, and, has an epic variety of bottled hot sauces stored on the door of your refrigerator, the Italian word "arrabbiata" is one you probably have in your vocabulary. Loosely translated, it means "angry" or "angry mood", and, when you order a dish "a la arrabbiata", or, "in the style of anger", you've given the chef carte blanche to throw a healthy dose of "peperonchino" ("crushed red pepper flakes") into your dinner. Arrabbiata is also a popular, easy-to-make, meatless, spicy Southern Italian red sauce for pasta and pasta dishes containing but not limited to seafood.
Sweet, tender shrimp are a great sparring partner for an angry sauce. My method for making shrimp arrabbiata differs from most recipes in that I don't just toss generically cooked shrimp into the finished pasta dish. I cook the shrimp in a similar manner to how I prepare them when making my ~ Succulent Shrimp Scampi w/Lemony Linguini~, with diced tomatoes taking the acidic place of the the lemon and lemon zest. You can find my scampi recipe by clicking into Categories 3, 12, 14 or 19.
First I saute the spicy shrimp and second I make the fiery sauce in the shrimp juices:
1 1/2 pounds peeled & deveined extra-large (26-30 count), tails-on-or-off shrimp, your choice (2 pounds of total shrimp prior to prepping)
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons salted butter
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons peperonchino (crushed red pepper flakes)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
5-6 ounces finely-diced onion (1 cup - 1 generous cup)
2 tablespoons minced garlic cloves (about 4 large cloves)
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, well drained
~Step 1. In a 12" nonstick skillet, over low heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter into 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir in the dried basil, peperonchino and salt, followed by the prepped garlic and onions. Increase heat to medium-high and using a large, nonstick slotted spoon, saute, stirring constantly until the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to brown.
~Step 2. Add and stir in the diced tomatoes and cook for about 1-2 minutes. Add and stir in the shrimp. Continue to saute, stirring constantly until shrimp are firming up, turning a pretty pink color and are just cooked or ever-so-slightly undercooked about 4-5 minutes.
~ Step 3. Remove pan from heat and using the same slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a large plate and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Return the pan of shrimp juices to the stovetop and prepare the arrabbiata sauce as directed below:
4 cups crushed tomatoes (32 ounces, but, one 28-ounce can will do) (Note: I am using crushed tomatoes from our garden which I keep on-hand in my freezer.)
2 tablespoons tomato paste*
2 cups medium-diced onion
4 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon peperonchino
1/2 teaspoon each: dried basil leaves, sugar and salt
1 ounce "chiffonade" of fresh basil (a French word meaning "sliced into little ribbons")
1 pound linguini, cooked al dente as directed in Step 2 below
*Note: When using store-bought, canned crushed tomatoes, it is not necessary to add tomato paste. I'm using freshly-crushed garden tomatoes and I need the tomato paste to thicken it.
~Step 1. Add the medium-diced onion, garlic, peperonchino, dried basil leaves, sugar and salt to the shrimp juices in the skillet. Adjust heat to medium-high and saute until onion is soft and translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and the tomato paste. Adjust heat to simmer gently, about 10-12 minutes. Add the basil chiffonade and continue to simmer another 3-5 minutes. Turn heat off.
~ Step 2. While the sauce is simmering, in an 8-quart stockpot bring 5 quarts of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon sea salt. Add the linguini and cook until al dente, 9-10 minutes. Quickly drain the pasta into a colander and immediately return the steaming hot pasta to the still hot stockpot. Return the stockpot to the still warm stovetop.
~ Step 3. Add two cups (half) of the sauce and toss like a salad.
Note: This recipe makes enough sauce for two meals and I always make this amount. Eat half -- freeze half -- how convenient is that!
~ Step 4. Add all of the shrimp, along with any and all of juices that have gathered in the bottom of the plate or bowl (there will be some), and using two large spoons, toss the shrimp into the pasta too.
Transfer to a 3-quart casserole, place on the table and serve, family-style, by portioning into individual bowls. Serve garnished with ground peperonchino flakes.
Please -- no grated cheese on top for me, but, it's your dinner:
Special Equipment List: cutting board; chef's knife; 12" skillet; large nonstick slotted spoon; plastic wrap; 8-quart stockpot; colander
Cook's Note: In case your curious to know the specifics about buying shrimp (what kind to buy and where), just click into Categories 14 or 15 to read my post ~ Purchase Shrimp by their "Count" not their "Size" ~. Ever wonder why restaurants leave the tails on their shrimp? That info is in there too!
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2016)