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Monday, March 1, 2010

Sicilian Pasta with Shrimp & Almond Cream

6 Tbs. slivered almonds
1 1/4 lb. ripe roma tomatoes quartered
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 lb short wide tubular pasta like rigatoni or ziti
2 garlic cloves
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/4 cup white wine
1 lb shrimp peeled and deveined with tails intact
2 Tbs chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

In a mortar, using a pestle, finely grind the almonds. Transfer to a bowl.

Using the mortar and pestle, grind 2 or 3 tomatoes at a time until the skins are broken and the pulp is pureed. Add the tomato puree to the bowl with the almonds. Add the olive oil and 1 tsp. salt and stir until well combined. Set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 3/4 cup of the cooking water. Set aside.

Using the mortar and pestle, grind the garlic to a paste.

In a large deep saute pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook until slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Add the almond mixture, stir until well combined and cook until the sauce has thickened, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the cooking water to the shrimp. Cook until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the pasta and stir to coat with the sauce. Garnish with the parsley and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Pour a pinot noir with this dish.
I recommend Soter ('07) from the Williamette Valley region.

Bon Appetit.