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Bold spices, fresh herbs and a little heat give this shrimp pasta a bold, zesty flavor that's delicious and completely unforgettable.
- 6 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced or chopped
- 1 pound medium-large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails off
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup loosely packed Italian sundried tomatoes or sundried cherry tomatoes, not in oil
- 2 bunches broccolini or 1 bunch broccoli rabe
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest, or 1 teaspoon dried lemon peel
- ½ tablespoon fresh orange zest, or ½ teaspoon dried orange peel
- About 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped (or about 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, lightly crushed in palm)
- About 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or ground pepperoncini, ⅓ palmful
- About 1 teaspoon fennel seed and/or fennel pollen, ⅓ palmful
- 1 pound penne with lines or short-cut pasta
- About 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- ½ cup dry vermouth or white wine
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 cup feta crumbles or ricotta salata crumbles, optional but recommended
- ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, a handful
- ¼ cup sliced Greek pepperoncini or sliced Italian pickled cherry pepper rings and a splash of their brine
Toss half the garlic with shrimp and season it with salt and pepper and let it hang out.
Cover sundried tomatoes with boiling or very hot water, soak to soften 15 minutes.
Heat a pot of water to boil for pasta. Add broccolini and boil 2 minutes, then remove to strainer and run under cold water, drain and chop into small ½ inch pieces.
Drain sundried tomatoes very well, slice and toss with citrus zest, oregano, chili, fennel.
Salt water and boil pasta 1-2 minutes less than directions, reserving a full cup of water just before draining.
Add half the EVOO to a large pan and cook shrimp 2-3 minutes, then add white vermouth or wine to absorb, and transfer to a plate or bowl and cover. Add remaining oil to the pan, add sundried tomatoes, remaining garlic, and broccolini, then toss to heat through and combine, add pasta water, pasta, feta and shrimp, toss with parsley, adjust salt and pepper and serve garnished with hot pepper rings and brine.