Coast Cooking

Here’s how to make a great shrimp boat spaghetti

Shrimp and pasta is a combination enjoyed around the world.
Shrimp and pasta is a combination enjoyed around the world. Special to the Sun Herald

Lent is still in full swing, so I thought this week we might combine two of my favorite foods to consider for your Lenten menu: pasta and seafood.

If you are from the Coast and of a certain age, you might recall shrimp boat spaghetti, a dish that was once popular and often served by fishermen.

It required you to have only tomatoes and pasta and a few shrimp from the day’s catch.

Season well and you had a filling and inexpensive dish to feed to crew or family at home.

Here are a few suggestions that might make the combination a bit better. Use a hefty pasta, like rigatoni, and be sure not to overcook it. The pasta should be “toothsome,” to be at its best.

Use large shrimp that you have peeled yourself. I have been told that machine-peeled shrimp are not quite as flavorful, but I’ll leave that decision to you. If you are going to use tomatoes, use only tomatoes that smell intensely of tomato — no smell, no flavor. Often the cherry tomatoes seem to be the best.

Don’t overcook the shrimp either. Dance them around in a hot skillet for less than 2 minutes. If you want to add a little cream at the end, do so, but do so sparingly. Finally, don’t forget the red pepper flakes.