by Sheila Connolly
And the other cookbook I bought in Northampton was (drumroll) Beard on Pasta! Published in 1983, it’s a companion to Beard on Bread (1974), which I’ve owned since before I was married. I’m not sure I’ve ever baked any of the recipes, but Beard is a good storyteller so it’s fun reading. (Confession: I also own a copy of The Tassajara Bread Book, which is even older, not that I've used it much, but back in the day you had to have a copy.) Obviously I’ve been collecting cookbooks for a long time!
Beard goes through the whole “make your own pasta” thing at the beginning of the book. Yes, I own a hand-cranked pasta machine. I’ve even used it, now and then. Not much lately.
But to get to the recipe (at last! you say). This one caught my eye because it’s quick and simple and tasty.
Linguine with Tomato-Shrimp Sauce
Adapted from Beard on Pasta, by James Beard
2 small onions (or one large), sliced
salt and pepper to taste
dried basil or oregano (optional; I had fresh oregano—from my herb pot!—so that’s what I used)
1/2 pound peeled raw shrimp
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tblsp Italian parsley, chopped
2 Tblsp olive oil
Red pepper flakes (optional)
1 pound linguine
In a large pot, cook the sliced onions in a little olive oil over medium heat until they are just soft. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and herbs and continue cooking over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
If you like a smooth sauce, you can run the sauce through a food processor, or use an immersion blender. (I bought my Cuisinart immersion blender at a neighbor’s yard sale for three dollars. It’s come in handy.)
Taste for seasoning. When the sauce is finished, add the other ingredients and simmer until the shrimp turn pink (not too long).
Cook the linguine according to the package instructions. Drain, place in individual bowls, and spoon the sauce over it.
You can use frozen shrimp, or smaller shrimp, or scallops, or seafood chunks—the possibilities are endless. It’s still quick and easy.
This recipe easily serves four (we’ve got leftovers!).
When Nell Pratt isn't digging into murders (I know, a bad pun!), she gets to visit a lot of Philadelphia restaurants--which of course means that I have to investigate them thoroughly. Oh, the life of a writer is hard!
(and a lot of other bookstores, I hope!)