After cooking something a little laborious I usually cook something less taxing the next evening. Last night was no different. I was out all evening and got home late. This is something that can be thrown together very quickly – only an onion to chop! I made the sauce in the morning for convenience sake and was very grateful when, coming home tired, all I had to do was boil the pasta and fry the shrimp. This red sauce was made special by the addition of 1 tiny Thai chili. It is so small and cute but packs quite a bit of heat (as small packages often tend to do!). I bought a handful of them ages ago and am still trying to use them up. I put one to good use tonight and this simple dish got a nice descriptive adjective because of it – Firey (a made-up word I think you will all understand!)
You will need: 1 sweet onion, diced, 2 garlic cloves, sliced, 1/2 cup celery leaves, chopped, 1 fresh Thai chili, chopped (including seeds), 1 28 oz tin plus 1/3 of plum tomatoes with sauce, chopped roughly (I used San Marzano tomatoes), 5 tbs extra virgin olive oil, 3/4 lb spaghetti, 1 lb shrimp, shell on, 1 tsp red pepper chili flakes, salt and freshly ground pepper for seasoning.
1 – In bowl add the shrimp along with 2 tbs of the oil and 1 tsp of pepper flakes. Mix together and set aside.
2 – Put a pot on medium heat on stove top and add 3 tbs of the oil. Toss in onions and garlic and saute for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add celery leaves and chili and cook for another 3 minutes.
3 – Add tomatoes and bring to a boil. Turn down, cover and simmer for 40 minutes. Turn off pot.
4 – When sauce has 15 minutes left to cook put on pot of water for pasta. When it boils, add 2 tsp salt and cook pasta according to instructions. Before draining scoop out 1/2 cup of pasta water in case you need it to thin out your sauce.
5 – Put big saute pan on high heat and when it is hot add the shrimp in a single layer. Cook for 3 minutes, turn and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
6 – When pasta has cooked, drain and add the red sauce and stir. If you need to loosen the sauce a bit, add the reserved pasta water.
To serve, put some pasta and sauce in a warm shallow bowl and top with shrimp. Add more pepper flakes if desired.