Appearing this time of the year, imperiale gamberi rossi di Sicilia (imperial red shrimps from Sicily) has a beautiful sweet flavoured flesh, best eaten raw. Their texture is similar to the scampi but sweeter and lighter. They are at their best in terms of tastes and size from June – August – spawning season too. AND SO I bought like 1 kg of them the other day.. and here are some of my favourite ways of eating them. RAW with a simple marinade “tartare” or mixed with CORIANDER PESTO, stirred through some pasta. Yum!
A. Red shrimps pasta with coriander pesto (2 persons) – photo above
Coriander Pesto – in a blender whisk the following all together :
1 large bunch of coriander (circa 1 cup) just the leaves and not too much of the stems
1 tbp of parsley
1 large pip of garlic
1/2 red chilli (deseeded)
1/4 cup of grated parmiggiano depending how cheesy you want your pesto to be
1/2 cup olive oil
pinch of salt
16 pieces of fresh red shrimps
2 tbp of olive oil
200g small tubular shaped pasta
salt and pepper to taste
extra grated parmiggiano
a few coriander leaves for garnish
a squeeze of lime or lemon juice
Peel and devein the red shrimps and set them aside in a bowl.
Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. When the pasta is done, drain and reserve 2 tbp of the liquid.
Heat up the olive oil and the pesto in a sautepan for about 4 mins on medium heat. On a separate pan , 1 tbp olive oil and saute the shrimps and switch to high heat for 2 mins. Once the shrimps lose their transparent colour. Switched off the heat. You don’t want to overcook them.
Add the pasta and the reserved liquid plus the shrimps to the pesto. Give it a good toss in medium heat for about 2 mins. Seasoned with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, arranged the pasta on the plates, drizzle the squeeze of lime juice over the pasta and sprinkle the extra cheese on top with a some freshly ground pepper. Garnish with a coriander leave or two.
B. Red shrimps with citrus and ginger marinade (4 persons as part of appetisers)
150 g fresh red shrimps
3 tbp freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp lime juice
2 tbp olive oil
1/2 tsp of sesame oil (optional)
1 tsp of freshly grated young ginger
tiny tiny pinch of salt
*some red currants & coriander for garnish OR
1/2 red grapefruit or blood orange, segmented and broken to smaller bite sized chunks & coriander for garnish.
Dice the red shrimps and set them aside in a bowl. Whisk oils, citrus juice and ginger lightly together with a fork Marinate the shrimps and set in fridge for 1 hour. Sprinkle a tiny tiny pinch of salt and give it one last good toss. Scoop out a tablespoon of the shrimp mixture and place it nicely on a small plate or leave it in a porcelain or chinese tablespoons and decorate with some redcurrant berries and a coriander leaf.