This is a great date dish. It strikes the perfect balance between relaxed and refined (in the flavors and by extension, in you!). It’s packed with seafood and umami, both great aphrodisiacs, right? Umami is like the pheromones of food. Right? Eating it you’ll feel like you’re in some great Italian bistro. In Rome. In twilight. Under some vault. By a square filled with pigeons and old men dressed in tailored suits. In the 60s. And you’re Anita Ekberg and he’s Marcello Mastroianni. And you’re drinking an expensive chilled white wine. And you’re charmingly, handsomely tipsy. And your smiles are equal measures cute, sexy and veiled.
Or, I don’t know, it’s Tuesday and you feel like having a pasta.
The secret behind this dish is 1. To turn the shallots into an umami-oozing ingredient by frying them in butter until golden brown. 2. Frying and boiling the shrimp shells, making a quick seafood bouillon. With these two tricks up your sleeve you will create a dish that is packed with deep, complex flavors. In no time.
Also, the dish requires that you grate the zest of a lemon, which in itself is a great trick, filling the kitchen with sensual citrus-oily aromas. By the time you sprinkle chili on top of that pasta and pour the wine your date will be thinking of kids and a Volvo.
- Serves 2
- About 200 g of angel hair pasta
- 500 g of unpeeled shrimps (frozen or fresh)
- 1 dl/1/2 cup of white wine
- 1 bay leafs + 5 peppercorn (optional)
- 40 g/ ⅓ stick of butter
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 3-4 shallots, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- I lemon, zested and then cut into wedges
- Parsley (any type), coarsely chopped
- Chili flakes
- Olive oil
- Parmesan (optional)
- Peal the shrimps. Put the shells in a frying pan and fry on high heat for 2-3 minutes. Pour the wine in. Then add about 3 dl/1¼ cup water. Add some sea salt, a bay leaf and a few peppercorns if you like. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Taste. You want a pretty strong and compact flavor. Sieve the bouillon into a ball. Throw away the shells.
- While the shrimps are simmering boil the pasta to al dente (!) in lots of water and lots of salt. Zest the lemon and cut into wedges. Chop up the parsley.
- Put the butter and the olive oil into a hot pan. Put the shallots in. Give it some color so you get that caramelized flavor. After a minute turn down the temperature to medium hot and let fry until brownish/golden - approx 5 minutes. Stir frequently, so it doesn’t burn. The last minute, put in the garlic. Then add the bouillon. Then the pasta. Remove pan from heat. Add the peeled shrimps (so they’re just heated but not cooked). Let sit for a few minutes. Plate the pasta and sprinkle with lemon zest, chili flakes, parsley and some sea salt. Serve with olive oil, chili flakes, sea salt and lemon wedges.