This recipe was featured in The 30 Second Wine Advisor's FoodLetter on Thursday, March 4, 2004.

Simple shrimp pasta

INGREDIENTS: (Serves two)

12 ounces (250g) medium shrimp in the shell
3 cups (750 ml) water
4 tablespoons (60g) salt for the brine
4 ounces linguine or other long pasta
2 or 3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
Dried red pepper flakes
Salt for seasoning
Juice of 1/2 medium lemon, about 2 tablespoons


1. Shell the shrimp, and devein them if you prefer. (Personally, I rarely bother with this strictly cosmetic step.) In a bowl or large measuring cup, dissolve the salt in the water to make a brine. Put in the shrimp, add a few ice cubes, and set aside for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and put in the pasta.

3. Mince the garlic, juice the lemon (discarding seeds) and assemble your other ingredients. Drain the shrimp, rinse them briefly and pat dry with paper towels.

4. When the pasta has about five minutes left to cook, heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet or saute pan over a medium-high flame. Put in the minced garlic and red-pepper flakes to taste. (Don't be too heavy-handed with the peppers ... this is Italian cooking, not Thai!) When the garlic becomes aromatic, add the shrimps and cook them quickly, stirring and tossing, until they turn opaque. This takes only a minuter or two; don't overcook.

5. If you got your timing right, the shrimp should cook through just as the pasta finishes. Stir the lemon juice into the shrimp. Drain the pasta and toss it with the shrimp, oil and lemon. Check for seasoning, add salt if needed, and serve.

WINE MATCH: A crisp but not light-bodied white wine is called for, and the recently tasted Mission Hill 2002 Okanagan Valley Pinot Gris reported in yesterday's Wine Advisor served quite well. Actually, the slightly sweet flavor that made the wine less than a personal favorite for me on style points worked in its favor with the rich, sweet shrimp, and I found the wine more appealing with the food than without it. Try any Pinot Grigio or other crisp Italian white, or your choice of Sauvignon Blanc.