Garlicky Shrimp Pasta

I made this recipe for the wrong reason; for my love of shrimp. However, the real story here is the garlic. Garlic three-ways: in the marinade, infused in the cooking oil, and in the sauce. With 9 cloves of garlic, this recipe goes right up to the maximum amount of garlic, fortunately without quite making it “over the top”. Overall, we had a nice meal; 4-stars. Both my kids ate it, but my 11-year-old had to overpower the garlic by adding mounds of Parmesan cheese.  Unfortunately and much to my surprise, the leftovers didn’t keep well for tomorrow’s lunch. Left to stew overnight the garlic became nasty.

“A little shrimp with your garlic?”

The complete recipe is here. Defrost shrimp, then peel. Marinade shrimp in large bowl for 20 minutes in 1 tablespoon oil, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt. Heat 4 smashed garlic cloves and 2 tablespoons oil in skillet for about 6 minutes. Discard garlic, leaving oil in bottom of skillet and set aside. Boil 1 pound of mezze rigatoni until just al dente, then drain pasta. While pasta is cooking, cook shrimp in single layer in skillet, for 2 minutes per side. Remove shrimp leaving liquid in bottom of skillet. Add 3 teaspoons minced garlic and 1/4 teaspoon pepper flakes to skillet and cook for 1 minute. Add 2 teaspoons flour and cook for 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup vermouth and cook for 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup clam juice and 1/2 cup chopped parsley and cook for 2 minutes. Off heat, add 3 tablespoon butter and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Add shrimp and pasta back to pan. Season with black pepper, and serve with lemon wedges.


  1. I misread the recipe and used 2 tablespoons flour; rather than 2 teaspoons. Oh well, it came out fine.
  2. I substituted home-made broth made from shrimp shells for clam juice. I did this first this last week and like it very much, plus it saves a trip to the supermarket (I don’t keep clam juice in my pantry).
  3. Recipe doesn’t save well. Garlic intensifies overnight and becomes bitter. Make sure your family is hungry enough to eat an entire pound of pasta.
  4. Not enough shrimp. The goal was to have shrimp in every bite, but there was simply not enough shrimp for that. Next time I’ll reduce the amount of pasta and sauce to match the 1 pound of shrimp.
  5. I used 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, but the whole family thought it was too hot. Next time I’ll keep it to 1/4 teaspoon.

Rating: 4 stars.
Cost: $9.
How much work? Low.
How big of a mess?  Low/Medium.
Started: 6 PM.  Ready:  7 PM. (including defrost and marinade time)


2 Responses to Garlicky Shrimp Pasta

  1. Ed says:

    I’m really enjoying your columns on this topic. We have most of the annuals and a lot of the books from CI although I haven’t cooked much from them. We also subscribe to the magazine. I’m more of a Cuisine@Home & Fine Cooking type of gal but my husband prefers CI. It seems to me that you are right about the shrimp – I would think that for a pound of pasta you would need 2 lbs. of shrimp or else use 1 pound of shrimp and 1/2 pound of pasta. I have a scallop dish that I make that uses a pound of scallops for 1/2 pound pasta and it’s the perfect ratio.

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