Coast Cooking

Coast Cooking: Shrimp boat spaghetti

By JULIAN BRUNT

Special to the Sun Herald

Shrimp boat spaghetti.
Shrimp boat spaghetti.

Shrimp boat spaghetti is about as Biloxi as you can get.

Surely a poor fisherman invented this dish, although the Italians may have had a hand in it years before it became popular here.  

All the fisherman needed was some dried pasta, fresh tomatoes or cans of tomato sauce, and if the catch was good, a pound of shrimp.

We can make this dish more tasty today than back then, but the fisherman was just trying to get full, not impress guests.

We can add vegetables, red wine, if you like, lots of garlic and seasonings. And I suppose I can get back on my soapbox and say it again, please do not overcook the shrimp. Two minutes maximum, after that they just get tough and tasteless.

SHRIMP BOAT SPAGHETTI

1 package pasta cooked to package directions (save the water)

4-5 cups tomato sauce, use at least one can of whole tomatoes

1 chopped red onion

1 chopped bell pepper

4-5 cloves chopped garlic

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Dried oregano

Red pepper flakes

1 pound peeled shrimp

Optional red wine

Season the shrimp and sauté quickly in a very hot heavy-bottom pot. Remove and set aside. Add the onions and bell pepper to the same pot, season, and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Now add the tomato sauce, and the wine if you are going to use it, and simmer for 45 minutes. Cook the pasta but take it out 1-2 minutes before it is done. Add the pasta to the red sauce and finish cooking, remove and drain off as much of the clinging sauce as you can. Add the shrimp to the sauce and simmer for just a minute or two. Plate the pasta, top with sauce and shrimp and serve at once.

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