There’s something about shrimp, tomatoes and peppers – especially when there’s some heat applied into the mix. Up here in northern Greece (I am here at the time of writing this) we have Boukovo, which is how we call chilli flakes in northern Greece.
Red peppers are dried in warm, breezy late summer breeze and this can be done with sweet, mildly hot or raging hot peppers. The skins and seeds are then pounded/crushed until you get Boukovo or chilli flakes. Done.
Let’s not forget the star of this dish is the shrimp – lots of shrimp. I this recipe I used large, head on shrimp as the shells and heads add their juices to the sauce and that, my friends equals flavour.
The other twist here (pun intended) is the use of grilled scallions (or garlic scapes in Spring) which become pliable after being grilled/cooked and they look wonder tossed with a tomato based sauce.
Use only ripe tomatoes here or a good can of plum tomatoes for best results. The best pasta dishes are simple and this one, again is rather straightforward, with a little panache added for presentation.
Zesty Spaghetti With Shrimp & Scallions
500 gr. package of dry spaghetti
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 diced green bell pepper
3-4 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup dry white wine
2-3 large ripe tomatoes, passed through box grater (skins discarded)
20 large shrimp (I prefer head on), deveined
1 tsp. Boukovo (chilli flakes)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2-3 tsp. fresh thyme leaves (or oregano)
salt and pepper to taste
chopped fresh parsley
*grilled scallions (or garlic scapes when in season in Spring)
- Place a large pot of water on your stove stop and bring to a boil. Add salt and once water returns to a boil, add your pasta and cook for 5 minutes. Strain and reserve.
- Place a large skillet on your stovetop over medium heat and add the olive oil, scallions, garlic, red and green peppers and sweat/soften for 5-6 minutes. Now add the wine and reduce for a couple of minutes then add the tomato purée. Bring up to a simmer, add some salt and pepper and reduced until most of the liquid has cooked down. Take off the heat and keep warm.
- Toss your shrimp in some olive oil, salt and pepper and set aside. Place another large skillet on your stovetop over medium-high heat and add some olive oil and sauté your shrimp for about 30-40 seconds/side or until just pink, remove with a slotted spoon and pour off any pan juices and reserve with the shrimp.
- Add your cooked pasta into the sauce, place on a burner with low heat and add the shrimp + juices, parsley, thyme, chilli flakes and grilled scallions and toss well. Divide and plate.
- Serve with a Gerovassliou Malagousia.
*Grill your scallions (or garlic scapes) ahead of time by simply tossing in some olive oil, seasoning with salt and grilling on both sides until slightly charred. Place in a bowl and cover with cling wrap and reserve. Add as a garnish to a seafood or pasta dish.
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