The countdown is on…..We leave for Umbria in just two weeks, so my meal planning involves trying to clean out my refrigerator and freezer before we leave. I had some frozen shrimp in the freezer, and some nduja leftover in my refrigerator that I decided would be a great combination in a pasta dish. If you are not familiar with it, Nduja is a soft, spreadable Calabrian salami that has a kick. When we are in Italy, Nduja is pretty available, and I can find it in both the fresh form as well as in jars. In North America however, Nduja is much more difficult to find so I order mine from Nduja Artisans. (They also sell truffle salami and lardo!)
This pasta is one that can be put together in minutes, in fact, I start the sauce after I put the pasta water on to boil. I used casarecce pasta, which is a short, twisted pasta shape, but you could use just about any pasta shape in this recipe including spaghetti. This is a quick and easy pasta dish that can be adjusted depending on how spicy you like your food. I recommend starting out with a quarter cup of Nduja to start with, and then add more if you like more heat. We like things fairly spicy, so I use about a third of a cup of this amazing spicy salami in our pasta. My shrimps were large in size, so I just cut them into three pieces so the size matched the pasta, but if you use medium-sized shrimp, you can leave them whole. The only trick to this pasta is to barely cook the cherry tomatoes and shrimp so that the tomatoes hold their shape and the shrimps remain tender.
Deborah Mele 2017
- 1 Pound Pasta (See Notes Above)
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
- 1/2 Pound Of Medium Sized Shrimps, Shelled & Deveined
- 2 Cups Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
- 3 Tablespoons Fresh Basil, Thinly Sliced
- 1/4 to 1/3 Cup Nduja (See Notes Above)
- Zest From 1 Lemon
- Juice From 1/2 Lemon
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- Chopped Fresh Parsley Leaves
- Put a large pot of lightly salted pasta water on to boil.
- Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and shrimp, and cook for two minutes, stirring often.
- Add the tomatoes, basil, Nduja, and lemon zest, and cook until the tomatoes soften, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
- Once the water has started to boil, cook the pasta until “al dente” according to package instructions.
- Drain the pasta, reserving a small cup of pasta water.
- Return the pasta to the pot, add the shrimp and tomato mixture and stir to mix over high heat.
- Add the lemon juice, and cook a minute or two until piping hot.
- Serve the pasta in individual bowls sprinkled with chopped fresh parsley.