© David Loftus
spaghetti with shrimp and arugula (spaghetti con gamberetti e rucola)
This dish was on the menu in a little restaurant called La Gondola in one of the roughest parts of Palermo. I thought the combination of flavors was great, and very accessible to us back home in Britain. You can buy very high-quality frozen shrimp in supermarkets these days, so it’s a win-win situation, but if you can get hold of some super-fresh ones and peel them yourself this can all of a sudden become very luxurious in flavor. A real crowd-pleaser. Finish off with good-quality olive oil and wild arugula full of flavor and you’ll be laughing. PS If using frozen shrimp, make sure they’re thawed out.
Cook your spaghetti in a large pan of salted boiling water according to the packet instructions. Meanwhile, heat 3 good lugs of extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan and toss in the garlic and chili. As the garlic begins to color, add the shrimp and sauté them for a minute. Add the white wine and the tomato purée and simmer for a couple of minutes. When the pasta is ready, drain it in a colander, reserving a little of the cooking water. Toss the spaghetti with the sauce, squeeze in the lemon juice, add half the chopped arugula, adding a little of the reserved cooking water if you want to loosen the sauce a bit, and correct the seasoning. Divide between 4 plates and sprinkle with the grated lemon zest and the rest of the arugula leaves.
• 1 lb• dried spaghetti
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• extra virgin olive oil
• 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
• 1–2 dried red chilies, crumbled
• 1lb peeled raw large shrimp
• 1 small wineglass of white wine
• 2 heaped tablespoons sun-dried tomato purée, or 6 sun-dried tomatoes blitzed in a blender
• zest and juice of 1 lemon
• 2 handfuls of arugula, roughly chopped