Recipe: Angel Hair Pasta (Capellini) with Shrimp





Here is a perfect recipe for a Summer lunch.  It is made in 3 parts, a tomato, herb and vegetable mixture, a yogurt and mayonnaise sauce with shrimp, and the pasta, all being combined just before serving.  It is wonderfully light and refreshing, with a complex blend of flavors.  This came from an old Martha Stewart recipe, which I have adapted.  In the 25 or so years I have been making this dish, it has always been a hit.

Keep in mind that the measurements listed are approximate.  I don’t measure the ingredients exactly.

To serve 6 people:

For the vegetable mixture:

2 cups celery, sliced thin

1 cup scallions, sliced thin

1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 cup chopped basil leaves

6 cloves garlic, minced

grated zest of 2 lemons

juice of 2 lemons

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 to 6 tomatoes, preferably heirloom or home-grown, cut into chunks

Put the cut-up tomatoes in a bowl and sprinkle liberally with salt, mix and let sit while preparing the other ingredients.  Combine ingredients in a large serving bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir to combine.  Drain excess liquid from the tomatoes and add them to the mixture.

For the shrimp sauce:

1 1/2 to 2 lbs. large shrimp, peeled and deveined

3/4 cup plain yogurt

3/4 cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade (see my recipe below for green peppercorn/caper aioli)

grated zest of 2 oranges

juice of 2 oranges

3 or 4 dashes of  Tabasco or similar hot pepper sauce

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and add the shrimp.  Cook for 2 minutes, turn off heat and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.  Drain and rinse several times with cold water until cooled.   Combine mayonnaise, yogurt, orange and Tabasco in a bowl.  Add the shrimp and stir.

For the pasta:

1 lb. angel hair (I prefer DeCecco)

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and add the pasta.  Reduce to simmer and cook for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes.  Be careful not to overcook.  Drain the pasta and immediately add it to the vegetable mixture.  The hot pasta will “cook” the mixture slightly.  Stir until well-mixed and add the shrimp sauce.  Stir again and serve.


Recipe for green peppercorn/caper aioli:

1 large egg

2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. capers, drained

1 tbsp. green peppercorns in brine, drained

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 1/4 cups oil (I use 3/4 cup corn oil and 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil)

Combine all ingredients except lemon juice and oil in a food processor, and process until smooth.  Add the lemon juice and pulse to blend. With the food processor running, gradually add the oil.  The mayonnaise should be fairly thick.  Test with your finger.  If it drips off easily it is too thin, so add a bit more corn oil and pulse, then test again.

Bon appetit!



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