In the time of COVID, I’ve been eating into the depths of my reserves. I actually pride myself as someone who has a well-stocked pantry, freezer, fridge (and in this case liquor cabinet) and this has served me well in the last month. Shrimp is quick cooking and I put dinner on the table in about 15 flat.
If you don’t have squid ink pasta, use what you have on hand. It will be delish anyway!
Squid Ink Pasta with Shrimp
- Enough pasta for 4 people, cooked to al dente and 1 cup pasta liquid reserved
- 1 lb shrimp, deveined and tails left on
- 6 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 4 cups thinly sliced fennel (optional) – I use a mandolin here
- 4 Tbsp tomato paste
- 4 Tbsp Pernod or Arak or any other fennel flavored liqueur (optional)
- 1 cup chicken/fish/vegetable broth or pasta water
- 1/4 cup parsley
In a large pot, heat the oil and add the chili peppers and garlic. Fry until garlic is slightly browned. Stir in the onions followed by the fennel and cook until lightly browned and sticky looking.
Add the tomato paste and brown slightly before add the Pernod. Careful as it may light! Reduce by half, add the pasta water and bring to a boil. Test at this stage for seasoning. Add the shrimp and cook until pink. Stir in the pasta and parsley and serve.
Note: If you don’t use the liqueur, add a teaspoon for sugar. When the liqueur cooks off, it leaves a very slightly sweet taste that compliments the savory umami of this dish.