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The Devil's Shrimp

The Devil's Shrimp


  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 pound tagliatelle or fettuccine pasta

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 3 flat fillets anchovies or 1 teaspoon anchovy paste

  • 1 hot red or green chili pepper, finely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth

  • 1/2 cup chicken or fish stock

  • One can Italian tomatoes (28 ounces) in puree

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram or oregano

  • 3/4 pound large shrimp, deveined, tails discarded, halved lengthwise and rinsed and patted dry

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1/2 cup basil leaves (about 10-12), shredded or torn

  • A few sprigs of mint, finely chopped


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook to al dente. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water.

While the pasta is working, in a large, deep skillet, heat the EVOO, four turns of the pan, over medium heat. Stir in the anchovies to melt. Stir in the chili pepper for 1 minute, then stir in the garlic for 2 minutes. Stir in the wine to reduce slightly, about 1 minute. Stir in the chicken stock, then stir in the tomatoes and crush with a potato masher. Season with the marjoram, salt and pepper. Simmer over medium heat until reduced, about 20 minutes.

Season the shrimp with salt and the lemon juice. In a large, deep skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shrimp and cook until pink, 2 minutes. Add to the sauce. Stir in the pasta and reserved starchy cooking water and toss. Serve on a warm platter or in shallow bowls. Top with the basil and mint to cool things down!