19 July 2012

Spaghetti agli Scampi

Italian food is very seasonal and in the summertime, pasta with scampi is not to be missed. While my first memories of this dish were made in Vernazza's piazza Marconi so many years ago, I have discovered that this dish is surprisingly easy and much cheaper to make at home! There are a few versions of this pasta, the most common being made with a thick tomato sauce, but I find that a simple, simmered garlic and pomodorini, or grape tomatoes, is the best.

Pasta agli Scampi
180 g spaghetti
6-9 whole prawns
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pint sweet, grape tomatoes, halved
2 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley
pinch chilli pepper
1 cup white wine
Extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Prepare the scampi by rinsing and cutting a slit along the tail. Detach the heads of three scampi to use in the sauce. Prepare a pot of water for the pasta. Sautee the garlic and oil in a wide sautee pan until lightly browned. Carefully add the tomatoes, chilli pepper, salt and half the parsley. Bring to a simmer and add the wine and the scampi heads.  Cover and let simmer for ten minutes and then drop in the pasta to the boiling water.

My hubby's incredibly capable hands cooking for me

When you put in the pasta, add the remaining prawns on top of the tomatoes and simmer until the pasta is done. Drain the pasta, reserving some cooking water. Remove the whole prawns, add the pasta and remaining parsley to the tomatoes and toss to coat. If the pasta seems dry, add some of the reserved cooking water. Serve on plates, topped with the whole prawns and a drizzle of fresh olive oil. 

Buon appetito!

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Vernazza Updates:

Vernazza is well on its way to normalcy and while I no longer write updates on their status, you can learn about the devastating floods of 2011 by clicking the label "Vernazza Updates". For the latest information from the organizations in Vernazza and Monterosso, visit SaveVernazza and Rebuild Monterosso.

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