Roasted garlic + chipotle add layers of spicy flavor to Rach's creamy tomato-lime mojo sauce with shrimp & pasta.
Last season, we invited a former combat marine and firefighter (and huge fan of Rach's!) named Rick to come on our show, after his wife Tina shared their story. Rach surprised Rick and Tina with a visit from their daughter who was deployed overseas, plus she gifted the married couple a nine-day trip to California! Rick, Tina and their dog Kaizer came back to see Rach just before Valentine's Day and she served her VIP guests this pasta.
- 2 bulbs garlic, 18-20 cloves, removed from skins
- About ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup chipotle puree or finely chopped canned chipotle in adobo, or 3 tablespoons Chipotle Tabasco or chipotle paste in a tube
- ¼ cup lime juice
- Salt and black pepper
- One 14-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 ¼ pounds medium-large shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
- 1 onion, white or yellow, finely chopped
- About ⅓ cup silver tequila, or about ½ cup vodka
- ½ cup cream or Mexican crema
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1 cup crumbled queso fresco or grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, to serve
- Chopped cilantro or flat parsley and finely chopped chives, to serve
Preheat oven to 325˚F.
Bring a large pot of water to boil for pasta.
Heat an oven-safe pan over medium heat on stovetop with garlic covered in olive oil. When it bubbles, transfer to oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and pour about 3 tablespoons of garlicky oil into a large skillet. To the garlic, add chipotle, lime, salt and tomatoes, purée with immersion blender, reserve.
Heat skillet over medium-high heat and add shrimp, season with salt and pepper and brown at edges until shrimp are just opaque, remove with slotted spoon to plate. Lower heat and add onions, season with salt and stir 2 to 3 minutes. Add ½ cup water and let it absorb, then add tequila or vodka and swirl, reduce a minute. Add puréed sauce and let bubble, reduce heat to low and add cream.
Cook pasta 1 minute less than package directions and remove ¾ cup water, drain.
Add shrimp to sauce and toss with pasta, use pasta water as needed if sauce gets too tight or dry. Adjust salt and pepper and serve topped with cheese and herbs.