Friday, July 10, 2015

Linguine with Tomato-Shrimp Sauce

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

28 ounces (2 cans) canned whole or chopped tomatoes in puree
olive oil
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!

Available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble 
(and a lot of other bookstores, I hope!)


  1. It looks so good! Thank you for the recipe.

  2. Great looking and simple, too.

    I have Beard on Food, Beard on Bread, The New James Beard Cookbook, The James Beard Cookbook (2 copies for some reason), and How to Eat Better for Less Money. I also have the Findhorn Cookbook.
    I love collecting cookbooks. Some of them from the 50's are visually a treat with the tinted colored photos.

    1. My mother had the James Beard Barbecue Cookbook, which was large format and had gorgeous pictures. Not sure where that went. I don't know the Findhorn one--I'll have to look for that. I firmly believe that you can't have too many cookbooks (maybe there's still room under the bed...).

    2. Findhorn has quite an interesting history. It is a community in Scotland that started in the 1960's Among other things, it's a long story, they claimed to have a relationship with nature devas who helped their plants grow in an otherwise rather inhospitable climate. It has progressed well beyond the humble beginnings at this point.

  3. Yum, Sheila! We love our immersion blender, though it was a tad more than $3 -- $15? We call it the whiizzy-uppy thing!

    1. Love that! I always end up spilling or overflowing the bowl with the food processor, so this is tidier and simpler.

  4. I need a whizzy-uppy thing. The recipe sounds very good!

  5. Sheila, I love how you find such wonderful cookbooks! You should be a character in my book!!! Oh, wait, maybe I'll make you a visiting author. :)


    1. I love finding them--they're fun to read, even if I don't ever use them. I just got a copy of The Young Housewife's Daily Assistant on All Matters Relating to Cookery and Housekeeping from 1864. I'm afraid to see what's in it.

      But if you want to see cookbooks, visit Tiger Wiseman in Vermont sometime--she has an entire wall of them, and I might have 20% of those. You could spend a lot of time in there!