- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled (tails left on) and deveined
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 4 large shallots or 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
- 2 small, dried red chiles, finely chopped, 2 fresh red chiles thinly sliced or 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- Salt and black pepper
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 28- to 32-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes (look for DOP on the label)
- A handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley tops, finely chopped
- A few fresh basil leaves, torn
- 1 pound linguine or thin linguine
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped pickled peppers (bottled green pepperoncini or hot cherry peppers), plus 2 tablespoons of their brine
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. When it begins to smoke, add half the shrimp and lightly brown but do not cook all the way though, 1-2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the remaining shrimp. Add the lemon juice to the shrimp, toss and set aside.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pan. Add the onions or shallots, garlic, thyme and chiles, and season with salt and black pepper. Stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sherry, stir to deglaze the pan, and cook for 1 minute to reduce. Melt in the butter. Hand-crush the tomatoes as you add them to the pan, then add the juices from the can. Add the parsley and basil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes to cook down the tomatoes.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water and cook the pasta to al dente. Before draining, reserve about 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
Five minutes before draining the pasta, return the shrimp to the sauce and cook for 5 minutes, or until cooked through.
Combine the drained pasta, sauce and starchy water, and toss with tongs for 1-2 minutes for the flavors to be absorbed. Just before serving, stir in the pickled peppers and their brine.
Serve in shallow bowls.