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Paccheri with Shrimp

Paccheri con Gamberi
Paccheri fascinate me. They are huge tubular pasta that resemble giant rigatoni. I first had them while filming a segment on pasta in Molise.

The story goes that this particular pasta served as a hiding place for of all things, garlic cloves that were smuggled into Austria. Why smuggled? Because Italian garlic was far superior to the weak type produced by Austrian farmers and highly sought after by the aristocracy. In order to protect the production of Austrian garlic, the border between Italy and Austria was closed! But those who craved it had it smuggled in! Paccheri are best served with seafood that can hide in the tubular hollows but they are equally as good with a rag├╣ sauce.

Serves 4

Ingredients

3 tablespoons Filippo Berio extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 teaspoon hot red pepper paste

1/2 cup dry white wine such as Soave or Corvo White

2 pounds rock shrimp (about 6 to 8 per pound) in the shell

1/2 pound paccheri

1/2 cup reserved cooking water

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan (12 to 14-inches), add the garlic and when it is soft stir in the tomatoes and hot pepper paste.  Cook one or two minutes then add the wine and bring to a boil; lower the heat and add the shrimp. Cover with a lid and cook about 8 minutes.

While the shrimp cook, cook the paccheri in 2 quarts of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and add them to the sauté pan with the shrimp and add the reserved cooking water. Cook a few minutes until everything is well blended. Season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.

Tip:  Save the shrimp shells to make a delicious seafood stock.

This recipe is featured on show 2019 – Perfect Paccheri. 

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