I love it when you find a new ingredient, and it inspires the whole meal. That happened this past weekend, after buying some Red Fife pasta at the St. Lawrence market.
The funny thing is that I wasn’t the one inspired – it was J who started searching for the perfect recipe!
We didn’t seek out the Red Fife – this was a case of in-person marketing at its best. Guy just got our attention and made us try it. The nice nutty flavour and hearty texture made the final sale. You can read a little bit about the people who grow the Red Fife, grind the flour, and cut the pasta in this article.
Once we got home, J started right in on the search for a dish. I found this kind of amusing. I think it may have to do with a recent discussion we had about how much work it can be to find recipes and plan out meals in advance.
He was definitely on the right track, looking for a light sauce that would show off the pasta. Oh, and it had to have shrimp.
This recipe combines leeks, white wine, shrimp, and other fun stuff in a bright unassuming way, leaving the spotlight where it’s deserved – on the fantastic pasta!
Red Fife Pasta with Shrimp in Leek and Wine Sauce
Modified from this recipe from Epicurious.com
- 1 pound medium uncooked tiger shrimp, peeled, deveined, shells reserved
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3-4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 1/2 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts)
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 3 – 4 leaves kale, de-stemmed and ripped into small pieces
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried chili flakes
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 300g red fife pasta, cooked and drained (can use any kind of pasta, if you can’t find red fife)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Capers, to garnish
- Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, to garnish
- Bring 1 3/4 cups of water to a boil over medium-high heat, add a pinch of salt, and add the shrimp shells. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cover. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
- Strain the shells out of the mixture, making sure to press out as much of the broth as you can.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a deep sauté pan, and sauté the shrimp over medium-high heat for about 2-3 minutes until they turn opaque. Do not overcook. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.
- Add 1 more tablespoon of oil to the pan, and turn the heat down to low. Sauté the garlic for about a minute, then add the leeks, kale, red pepper, oregano, chili flakes and lemon zest. Cover, and cook until everything softens.
- Remove the lid, and add the wine, lemon juice and shrimp broth. Bring to a boil, and cook until at least half of the liquid has cooked off.
- Turn the heat down to low, and toss in the pasta and shrimp. Season with salt and pepper.
- Garnish each serving with a few capers and top with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.