This recipe hails from a little trattoria down an alley, away from the tourists in Venice. We had traveled from Paris and after planes, trains and boats we were starving. The hotel sent us to this out-of-the-way place and it was incredible. My first taste of this dish had me closing my eyes and tasting the sea…it was light, fresh, simple yet complex and all I knew was I wanted more! The bulk of the work for this dish comes in the prep…so take your time and do some of the chopping the day before…or ask for help, it will go faster! When it is time to make the dish it all comes together very quickly so be ready to sit down to dinner. You will need a great pasta for this…one that stays nice and al dente. I highly recommend Rummo Spaghettini. Yum.
Serves 4 generously
1 lb Rummo Spaghettini
2 lbs jumbo cleaned shrimp (tail on or tail off, your choice)
1 small fennel bulb
1 yellow zucchini
1 green zucchini
8 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 medium carrots, preferably colorful
1 basket cherry tomatoes, preferably colorful
2 sticks of salted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
pinch of red chili flakes
pinch of dried basil & oregano
fresh basil for serving
Parmesan cheese, meyer lemon, chili flakes and basil for serving
How to Make It
Prep your veggies. For the fennel, 2 types of zucchini & carrots, cut each into very small cubes (see the picture for guidance). Do not mix the veggies after cutting because they all cook at a different pace.
Chop the garlic small and cut the cherry tomatoes in halves. Set aside.
Fill a stock pot with water and add 2 tbsp salt. Set to boil for your pasta. When water boils, add pasta and cook until al dente. It should be about 8-9 min.
In a large dutch oven or your biggest skillet, add the 2 tbsp of olive oil and 1 sick of butter. When butter melts and begins to foam, add garlic, a pinch of dried basil, a pinch of dried oregano and a pinch of red chili flakes. Stir for about 1 min.
Add the cubed carrots and fennel. Cook for about 4 min, stirring frequently.
Add white wine and let it reduce by about 1/4, stirring often, about 5 min.
Add shrimp. Cook until shrimp are about 1/2 way opaque.
Add both kinds of zucchini, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil.
Stir gently, lower heat and cover for 5 min.
Drain pasta (don't rinse) and toss with shrimp and sauce.
Serve immediately with Parmesan, extra chili flakes, meyer lemon wedges if you can get it, and julienne fresh basil.
Bon Appétit, Enjoy, Provecho!