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Author Notes: Another week of setting stuff ablaze with Fire Marshall Pierino. If you do your prep properly this dish can be put together in just about 30 minutes. I use shell on shrimp here so they are still wearing their knickers. Retain more flavor, I think. The accelerant for the blaze is Pernod which is 45% alcohol so it’s good for flambé and goes very well with shrimp. The radicchio and basil will contribute more sweetness so it’s good to finish the dish with a bit of lemon juice to brighten it back up along with a pinch or so of a finishing salt. —pierino
12 medium shrimp (in shell)
1 shallot chopped
6 leaves of fresh basil, chiffonade to equal about ¼ cup
1 cup thinly sliced radicchio Treviso (or Chioggia)
2 shots Pernod or other pastis
squeeze of lemon juice
¼ pound capellini pasta
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil
- In a skillet over medium high heat (don’t use nonstick for this) heat up enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan and add the chopped shallot. Cook until it just begins to color
- Add the shrimp, turn once as they change color
- Add the pre-measured pastis to the pan (DON’T pour it straight from the bottle). You can ignite it by tipping the edge of the pan toward the flame (this doesn’t work with an electric cooktop) or you can use a kitchen torch. As a last resort light a match, but you really don’t want a burnt match head in your dish. Reduce flame to low
- At this point you can start the pasta. Capellini cooks fairly quickly
- Add the radicchio and basil to the shrimp and stir. Season with pepper and salt
- When the pasta is al dente, drain and turn it into the pan with the shrimp
- Finish with lemon juice and sea salt to taste.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Shellfish
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dish You (Intentionally) Set on Fire