Our chat with Chef Christopher Nicosia of Sassi concluded yesterday with him telling us how the best compliment he has ever received was that from a patron claiming Nicosia's food was better than his own mother's. The recipe he is showing us today, however, is something mom probably hasn't made yet. This is a puttanesca style pasta dish with black fettucine, which is normally given it's color by squid ink. For all those pasta lovers out there who want something other than spaghetti with marinara sauce for dinner, dig in!
Black Fettucine with Rock Shrimp
Yield: 4 portions
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Rock shrimp 1 pound
Black Fettuccine 1 pound
Salt-packed anchovies (rinsed and chopped) 6 filets
Salt-packed capers (rinsed and soaked) 2 tablespoons
Roma tomatoes (halved, roasted at 350° for 13 minutes, chopped) 3 cups
Gaeta olives (pitted and halved) 1/2 cup
Fresh basil (torn) 1/4 cup
Garlic (thinly sliced) 1 tablespoon
Calabrese pepperoncini or red chile flakes 2 teaspoons
Extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup
White wine 1 cup
For the sauce:
1. In a large sauteé pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
2. Add garlic, chiles and anchovies and sauteé until garlic begins to toast slightly.
3. Add capers, olives and rock shrimp and toss.
4. Add tomatoes and white wine, and simmer until shrimp are just cooked through, about 4 minutes.
For the pasta:
1. Meanwhile, bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil and add pasta.
2. Cook to al dente (3-4 minutes for fresh pasta; 7-9 minutes for dried pasta).
3. Drain pasta and add to sauteé pan with rock shrimp and tomato mixture and add two ounces of pasta cooking water.
4. Simmer, tossing frequently, for about 1 minute.
5. Divide among four pasta bowls and top with torn basil and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.