Last week it was jumbo shrimp on sale at Stop & Shop. This week it was Brat Hans chicken sausages, all varieties, and locally grown grape tomatoes on sale at Whole Foods. Tonight, it’s wondering how to combine these ingredients with fresh herbs for a pasta dish that requires only a simple green salad and maybe a crusty roll to absorb any errant sauce.
Drawing on two favorite recipes – the NYT classic recipe for scampi, and another I’ve done for a lemony shrimp & basil pasta with tomatoes, this is the dish that sprang to mind – an Italianate version of scampi but with half the shrimp replaced with the sliced pre-cooked sausages, and the quartered grape tomatoes tossed with herbs, cheese, a bit of olive oil, salt & pepper.
As with Asian cuisine, preparing the mise en place is key to making this dish come together quickly. I’ve prepped the shrimp & sausages, combined the tomatoes with the herbs & cheese, chopped the garlic, halved the lemon, measured out the linguni and poured my Knob Creek on the rocks (essential for the chef, not part of the dish). All that remains is to bring this together and serve with a salad of arugula & romaine, my new favorite combo of greens (see Italian dressing in previous post).
Wow, the dish came together so quickly that I neglected to take a snapshot of the finished product. Please trust me when I say it was a superb amalgam of the two recipes I drew from, and the spicy Italian sausages balanced nicely with the shrimp. Sure to be repeated, and maybe a photo next time!
RONI’S ITALIAN SHRIMP & SAUSAGE PASTA
12 large raw shrimp, shelled and patted dry
2 fully cooked spicy Italian chicken sausages, sliced on the bias ¼” thick
2 plump garlic cloves chopped
1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
Italian parsley, fresh oregano & basil roughly chopped to yield ¼ cup
3 tbsp grated pecorino romano
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp + 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil divided
½ cup dry white wine or broth (such as lobster broth made with Better than Bouillion)
juice of ½ lemon
6-7 ounces linguini cooked and drained
In a small bowl combine the tomatoes with the herbs, 1 tsp olive oil, S&P to taste, and the grated cheese. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil on medium and sauté the sausage slices until lightly browned and remove to a plate. Heat the remaining olive oil with the butter and sauté the garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the wine or broth, S&P to taste, and simmer about 2 minutes until reduced by half.
Add the shrimp and sauté until they turn pink, 2-4 minutes. Add back the sausages to rewarm. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Toss this with the pasta and the tomato-herb-cheese mixture and serve with crusty bread and a green salad.