Greek Style Shrimp and Rigatoni

Two must haves for this recipe: Ripe, in season tomatoes, and good quality shrimp. Try to get wild caught, not farm raised, if possible. With so few ingredients in the dish, the quality of each is of utmost importance. A nice, creamy feta in brine will do better than a container of pre-crumbled cheese, and a finish of a good extra virgin olive oil brings it all together at the end.

Greek Style Shrimp and Rigatoni

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Two must haves for this recipe: Ripe, in season tomatoes, and good quality shrimp. Try to get wild caught, not farm raised, if possible. With so few ingredients in the dish, the quality of each is of utmost importance. A nice, creamy feta in brine will do better than a container of pre-crumbled cheese, and a finish of a good extra virgin olive oil brings it all together at the end.
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Servings 6

Ingredients
 

  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • ¼ cup pitted kalamata olives
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pasta cooking water
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces feta cheese, broken into small chunks
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined wild-caught shrimp
  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil. Use about 1 tablespoon of salt in the water to flavor the pasta as it cooks.
  • Melt the butter in the olive oil over medium heat in a large saute pan, then saute the onion and garlic until soft, being careful not to let it brown. It should take about 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes in half and remove the seeds. Place a box grater inside a large bowl, and grate the tomatoes into the bowl until you are left with only the skin, and discard.
  • Add the tomatoes, oregano, olives, and pinch of sugar to the onions and garlic, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes. Partially cover with a lid if the tomatoes are splattering. They should be reduced and nicely thickened.
  • Boil the pasta and cook until just al dente, usually about 1-2 minutes before the recommended cooking time on the box. Carefully scoop out 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta and immediately add it to the tomato sauce.
  • Add the shrimp to the pan with a few grinds of black pepper and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir until the shrimp are cooked through (this will depend on their size, usually 2-3 minutes for small shrimp and 4-5 for larger). Add some pasta cooking water to the pan if it seems too thick or is sticking. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt if needed. The pasta cooking water is salted, so taste and adjust accordingly.
  • Scoop into serving bowls, or one large serving bowl, and top with the crumbled feta and parsley, and drizzle with a little olive oil. Serve warm.

Notes

There are certain pasta “musts”. See Tips for Cooking Pasta from my  Know How section.
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