shrimp with tomato cream


12 ounces of fettucini or linguine

1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup brandy

2 cups strained tomatoes or tomato sauce (see note)

Kosher salt

Pinch of red pepper flakes

1/4 cup cream

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley or basil (or a combination), optional

 Pasta with shrimp and tomato cream sauce

Serves four.We like Pomi brand strained tomatoes for this and similar dishes. The quality is good with a fresh tomato taste. This brand contains no salt, though, so if you use another brand, check the salt content and adjust accordingly.

Heat about four quarts of water in a large pot and add a tablespoon or so of kosher salt. When it reaches a boil, add the pasta can cook according to package directions.

Depending on the size of the shrimp and your personal preference, you can cut the shrimps in half or just leave whole.

Meanwhile, in a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add enough oil to thinly coat the bottom of the pan. Heat until the oil flows freely and shimmers. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, for about two minutes, until the shrimp are curled up and almost opaque. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to remove the shrimps to a small bowl.  Set them aside.

Add the garlic to the pan and stir for 30 seconds or so, or until garlic is fragrant and just starting to color a little. Take the pan off the heat and carefully add the brandy. Return the pan to the heat and stir to dissolve the fond, until reduced by half, 45 seconds to a minute. Turn the heat down to medium–low.

Add the strained tomatoes to the pan with the garlic and brandy, and bring to a simmer. Add a big pinch of salt and the red pepper flakes and cook for a few minutes, while the pasta cooks. The sauce should thicken a little as it cooks. Turn the heat down to low and add the cream. Stir and taste for salt, adding more if necessary.

By this time (with luck and practice), the pasta will be done. Drain in a strainer or colander and add to the sauce in the pan. Add the shrimp and stir to reheat for about a minute.

Top with the parsley or basil, if using, and serve.

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