Shrimp Saganaki Pasta
By: Eleni Saltas
It’s not often I crave pasta, but when Great Lent rolls around and my body demands more calories but lettuce and raw vegetables don’t satisfy, I make sure my pantry stays loaded with different pasta types ready to be boiled into something special. A special meal to me is shrimp saganaki.
Saganaki simply refers to a variety of dishes prepared in a small frying pan or skillet. Cheese set aflame with loud shouts of “OPA” is the most well known saganaki style. For the seafood lovers, there’s also mussel and shrimp styles of saganaki you must try. Those seafood dishes aren’t set aflame nor do they come with a show when presented at your table, but the flavors truly are award winning.
As I finished preparing shrimp saganaki one night, I realized I didn’t have any bread to dip up its tasty tomato-y sauce with. “Bummer,” I thought, because that’s usually what I look forward to the most. Luckily my pantry was stocked with all sorts of pasta shapes from rigatoni to linguine, so I quickly boiled some water with enough salt in the pot to taste like the sea, and mixed the noodles into the awaiting saganaki sauce. So there you have it–shrimp saganaki pasta–a filling meal that ensures no sauce ever goes to waste.
- 1 pound (16 ounces) shrimp, thawed and peeled*
- 8 ounces favorite pasta type
- ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 assorted sweet mini peppers, diced
- 4 medium tomatoes, finely diced
- 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
- ½ cup white wine or ouzo (optional)
- 1 tablespoon chili flakes
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Step by Step Instructions
Peel and clean the shrimp. If frozen, leave the shrimp out to thaw. Set aside.
In a large frying pan or skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onions, peppers and garlic until translucent.
Add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Season with oregano, chili flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the white wine or ouzo. Reduce the heat, cover the pot and let simmer for 20 minutes to allow the tomato sauce to develop flavor.
Meanwhile, prepare your pasta. Bring water to a boil, and season the water with a generous amount of salt. Cook your pasta al dente.
Back to your tomato sauce, remove the lid, check for seasoning and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and allow it to cook in sauce for about 3-4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or pasta fork, bring the pasta directly from the pot to the skillet with tomato sauce and stir in.
Garnish with fresh parsley and serve warm.
*Use your favorite size of shrimp here. The smaller shrimp will take less time to cook. I prefer large prawns.