Sunday, April 25, 2010

Carmela Soprano's Linguine with Spicy Shrimp and Tomato Sauce, Anna Sultana's zalza pikkanti (Fish in Caper Sauce, Maltese Style)

I wanted something simple.

It's been getting warmer and I didn't want to stay indoors cooking.  Sometimes the recipes in Entertaining with The Sopranos try to make a recipe sound like more than it is.    

Carmela cut up large shrimp.  If you've got small ones, leave them alone or they'll disappear.

Carmela's Linguine with Spicy Shrimp and Tomato Sauce didn't have too many ingredients.
To be honest,  It isn't much of a recipe.  

Basically, here it is:

1 pound pasta
Before you drain the pasta, save some of the cooking water to thin the sauce if it's too dry.

In a large pot combine
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
a pinch of crushed red pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
Cook about 3 minutes.

Stir in
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
28-ounce can of Italian peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped
a pinch of salt
Simmer about 20 minutes.

Stir into the sauce
1 1/2 pounds of shrimp
Cook 1 minute.   
Mix the pasta into the sauce.
Serve immediately. 

The title called for linguine but in the recipe she said 'or spaghetti'.  Okay... a simple tomato sauce with shrimp on pasta.  

Ma never cooked shrimp.  In Malta, lampuki is the most popular fish.  Well, we were in College Point on Long Island.  There bluefish was easily available.  When we went for our Sunday drives to Sheepshead Bay, Pop could buy bluefish fresh from the fellows who liked to go fishing, but who didn't like to eat that stuff.  This was in the 60s, when real American men ate meat.  

Ma sometimes cut the cleaned fish into slices, dipped them in seasoned flour, fried them and served them in what she called piquant sauce, zalza pikkantiZalza pikkanti was a little more work than Carmela's sauce.  It had onions, tomato paste, olives, sugar, vinegar, capers and, of course, garlic.  Ma served the fish either hot or cold, depending on the weather and our schedules. 

If you've just gone fishing or fish is on sale, I think it's alright to serve the fish, cut up, in Carmela's sauce.

Carmela's recipe is easier.  I'd make it again.  With any pasta I have on hand.

Another recipe down.  Sixty-five more to go. 

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