Move over fettuccine alfredo, there’s a new pasta love in my life. He’s prettier. More refined. And won’t instantaneously put five pounds on my hips post meal time.
Shrimp Tagliatelle with Roasted Garlic, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Sweet Vermouth Sauce
Ahhh just typing the name alone sends a wave of memory-induced hunger pains through my body. I can’t.stop.thinking about it.
This is the second time I’ve made this exact variation of pasta in the last month, I wasn’t even going to post it here, because I wasn’t convinced it would actually be something share-worthy, but by gosh it HAS TO BE SHARED. I literally ate it for a week straight since I have an innate compulsion to make enough food for a family of eight when there are only two of us, leaving us with infinite leftovers after each meal. Except in this case, there were four of us, but still.
By the looks of it, it may appear that this is just any ordinary pasta with shrimp, but what you can’t see from the pictures are the two ingredients that make this pasta seriously lust-worthy.
Sweet vermouth and the BEST egg pasta.
First, let’s talk about the pasta. One may assume that all dried pastas are created equal; if this is your assumption, you’d be dead wrong. Most dried pastas when cooked, taste like dried pasta, but this particular brand I got from a local specialty food store actually mimics the texture of fresh pasta when cooked. It’s on the pricey side at about $9 for eight ounces, but as of late, I’ve been trying to cut back on my carb intake, so I have no problem shelling out the cash for something a little more high-quality when I don’t have the time to make the pasta strands from scratch.
Sweet vermouth. I’ve officially decided that sweet vermouth should be an ingredient in everything I make from now on. White wine has been replaced by sweet vermouth. Chicken stock has been replaced by sweet vermouth. Sherry has been replaced by sweet vermouth. EVERYTHING has been replaced by vermouth.
Unlike most uses of sweet vermouth that call for only a conservative pour, here it’s used rather liberally (almost a cup) since I really wanted it to be the focus, and not just an undistinguishable mystery flavor Normally, I would say you could replace the liquor for chicken stock if you don’t have it on hand or don’t drink, but in this particular recipe, the swap out would give you a completely different flavor. Granted, it will still be delicious (hello roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, butter and cream), but it won’t have that luxurious, underlying sweet taste the vermouth permeates throughout the pasta, so a trip to the liquor store is totally warranted. Plus you could also get the ingredients for a Manhattan while you’re at it – the classic cocktail made with sweet vermouth – that alone, is worth a trip to the liquor store.
The remaining components may not be as assertive as sweet vermouth, but they are equally noteworthy. Sautéed shrimp, homemade roasted garlic and sun-dried tomatoes are all part of the ensemble that makes this pasta so incredibly addictive. Spinach adds a bright green color, and added nutritious effort, while red pepper flakes add just a hint of spice that’s not at all overwhelming.
If you’re just a family of two like Kev and I, may I suggest you stick with the full recipe, because you’ll be sorry if there aren’t any leftovers…
Sweet vermouth is the base in this light, yet luxurious shrimp pasta dish. Roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and a touch of heavy cream round out the dish, fit for a special occasion.
- 8.8 ounces tagliatelle
- 1 jar of sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
- 2 heads of garlic (roasted) + 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 cup sweet vermouth, divided
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
- Reserved pasta water
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Drizzle the two whole garlic heads with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a large piece of foil and fold the edges up creating a pocket. Roast for 40 minutes or until softened, do not burn. Cool and remove each clove from the skin. (This can be done a few days in advance) You can also buy already roasted garlic in the bulk section at the grocery store.
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Season liberally with salt. It should taste like the sea.
- Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat a large saute pan to a medium-high heat. Add in two tablespoons of the oil from the sun-dried tomato bar. Add in shrimp and cook until bright pink on both sides. Remove from pan.
- Start to cook pasta in boiling water. Make sure to reserve some cooking liquid.
- Add another teaspoon of oil from jar to pan. Add onion and garlic. Saute until softened about 2-3 minutes.
- Add sweet vermouth and red pepper flakes if using. Scrape up brown bits and then simmer sauce until reduced and the alcohol is cooked out, about 3-4 minutes. Swirl in two tablespoons of butter.
- Add cooked pasta to the sauce, along with roasted garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. Toss.
- Add in cream. Toss until combined. Add in shrimp and spinach leaves. Toss until combined. If necessary add in starchy pasta water until desired consistency is reached.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To bring this to the table in under 30 minutes, buy the roasted garlic at the grocery store!
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