Spaghetti with Shrimp is a pretty classic combination and to be honest I have not strayed to far from the pretty traditional protocols of a dish that is already a real winner, but lets face it… I like to tinker and add my own slant to dishes so along side the garlic, chili and lemon notes that you would expect to find in and good spaghetti with shrimp dish I have added some fennel, I love the subtle aniseed flavour it brings to sea food and some rather fab looking and delicious black pasta. The colour comes from squid ink, stop pulling that face, I can see you! Squid ink has a really subtle flavour of the sea but in pasta I thing it brings a wonderful silkiness to the texture and is one of the reasons I love to cook with it. Texture is hugely important for me when it comes to food, there are some foods I genuinely dislike for texture alone, bananas, avocado, olives and aubergine all make my ‘ikky’ list because the texture of them makes me shudder. Oddly I do not mind the flavour of any of them if you can manage to isolate them from the horrible ‘mouth feel’.
Oh look, I wondered off on a different path again… I’ve been cooking with this stuff for a long old time but have yet to put a recipe here because it is a real pain in the ass to take a picture of and pictures are kinda important in doing when it comes to people seeing your food and thinking, yum! But I have been determined to share this Squid Ink Spaghetti with Shrimp and Fennel recipe for a while so we have been eating it all the time so I can come up with a way of photographing it. Life is so very hard I know, but hey it takes 20 minutes to make start to finish, looks a million dollars and tastes fantastic, of course you can swap out the squid ink pasta for regular pasta but I urge you to hunt some down and give it a try… It’s awesome!
Bring a bit of bling to your spaghetti with shrimp by adding some squid ink pasta and the classics chili, garlic and lemon juice.
1Bulb Fennel.Sliced finely top to tail I used a mandolin with a 1.5mm slicing attachment.
1 1/2TbspCooking Oil.Neutral.
130gSquid Ink Spaghetti.
1Garlic Clove.Finely sliced.
1Lemon.We will only need the zest and juice of half of the lemon.
Bring a large pan of salted water to a rolling boil.
Whilst the water is boiling check through the shrimp and remove any veins and ensure they are dry before adding half the chili flakes, half the lemon zest, the garlic and one tablespoon of the oil and set aside.
Add the pasta to the pan and cook as per the instructions, should take around 8 minutes.
Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over a high heat and cook off the fennel for 2-3 minutes, flipping over half way through the cooking time, the remove from the pan and set aside.
Now add the garlic and shrimp to the frying pan with the marinade and cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes.
30 seconds before finishing add in the lemon juice.
You should now be ready to drain the pasta, drain and add in the shrimp and associated sauce and mix together along with a pinch of coarse sea salt.
Return the fennel to the pan and bring back to temperature with the remaining chili flakes.
Serve the fennel with the pasta and top with the shrimp and a drizzle of any sauce and the remaining lemon rind and if you have any some fennel fronds.
You can of course use regular spaghetti for this dish.
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