Tuesday, 3 April 2007

One for the potluck

Posted by Andrew

It must be karma... computer problems partly explain my own long absence from this blog, along with my being out of town for a conference for half a week. In any case, I'm back now and with a new food story to tell.

Today my office had another potluck lunch, and this time around I decided to up a notch my culinary contribution. Last time I wrapped mini bocconcini with fresh basil and thin slices of proscuitto ham. This time I made my version of shirmp linguine arrabiata. I say "my version" as I'm sure Italians will accuse me of bastardizing a classic recipe. How so, you ask? For one thing, I used Tabasco sauce to give it that nice spicy kick (though I made sure not to add too much in case my colleagues couldn't handle it). I also added some red onion, porcini mushrooms and even some red wine. I really liked the flavour of Inniskillin's 2004 Merlot, so I got my hands on one such bottle over the weekend. As for the basil and oregano, I used the freeze-dried form, so that when they were rehydrated they return to their original "fresh" form, albeit already chopped for easy storage.

Fortunately my colleagues enjoyed it, and that's what's important. However, there was so much food on the table that it only meant more leftovers for me. Not that I'm complaining! ;o)

(Sorry, no photos again this time.)

Andrew's Shrimp Linguine Arrabiata
  • 1/2 package (450g) linguine
  • ~500-600ml (2-2.5 cups) tomato sauce
  • 250g (1 cup) red wine
  • ~2-3 dozen shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • 1/2 red onion, shredded
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 shallot, halved & sliced
  • Large handful of porcini (cepes) mushrooms, cut into bit-sized pieces
  • ~2 tbsp. basil
  • ~2 tbsp. oregano
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Olive oil
  1. Cook linguine al dente; usually following instructions should suffice, otherwise cook in boiling salted water for 8-9 minutes. Drain but do not rinse!
  2. In a preheated pot drizzle bottom of pot with olive oil, coating it and a bit of the sides evenly. Over medium heat toss into pot onions, garlic and shallots, add a small splash of water, cover pot and let cook for ~2 minutes.
  3. Remove lid, add red wine, increase to high heat and let boil until alcohol fumes dissipate. Turning on the exhaust fan at this stage is recommended.
  4. Once the alcohol has evaporated, reduce heat to medium high, add tomato sauce and mushrooms and let simmer covered for a few minutes.
  5. Once the sauce is simmering reduce heat to medium, remove lid and add Tabasco sauce to desired spiciness. Stir evenly.
  6. Add shrimp into pot, cover lid and let shrimp cook in the sauce for 2 minutes.
  7. Cut heat, remove lid, add oregano and basil, stir evenly.
  8. Add cooked linguine, stir evenly and serve.

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