Farfalle con Gamberetti, Aneto, Ricotta, Semi di Girasole Tostate e Sambuca
Farfalle with Shrimp, Dill, Ricotta, Toasted Sunflower Seeds and Sambuca
shiver me timbers! That there be a fine plate of food- even if I do say
so myself! And with a full shot of Sambuca, per person, it packs a
tasty punch too! It is Springtime at last and time for some fresh
flavors and lighter dishes. But they needn't be lightweights in the
The aniseed flavor of the Sambuca and
the fresh dill make for a great combination with the shrimp, lime,
garlic and ricotta cheese... and doesn't that just make you think of a
Mediterranean Summer in the nicest possible way?
you can see, this is a very simple dish, which takes all of 10 minutes
to make- just the time it takes to boil the pasta and then to assemble
everything on your plate... and that's my kind of meal on a weekday
let's get busy and let's start by boiling that pasta according to the
instructions on the packet- usually 8 minutes. In the meantime, crush
and chop and squeeze into a past a clove of garlic- you know how, by
sprinkling it with salt and using the flat edge of your knife. I am sure
you have seen that done. The coarse structure of the salt crystals
grinds the garlic down and it soaks up the juices as you go. We want to
use half of the garlic paste to season our ricotta and the other half
for the shrimp. So lets start with the ricotta...
garlic paste, some white pepper, lime juice and a little more salt if
necessary into either fresh ricotta or cheese curd and whip together
until nice and smooth. There- that was easy, wasn't it?
ingredient is toasted sunflower seeds, which I thought would give a nice
"bite" and a pleasantly nutty flavor. Also... it made me think of the
acres and acres of sunflowers we have "back home" in Sicily... sigh!
the shrimp, which are simply fried at a moderate heat in olive oil,
with a little Tabasco for flavoring and the garlic paste we prepared
just a few minutes ago. Once this begins to stick to the bottom of your
frying pan- and it will, deglaze the pan with a good shot of Sambuca-
maybe two- haha! Yes, you can actually quite literally do that as long
as you let it reduce down a little- which it does very swiftly. Add only
a little salt... the fun thing here is, that the sugar content of the
Sambuca will actually caramelize a little and become a wonderful
sweet-ish glaze on the shrimp which tastes pretty amazing!
now the pasta will be good, so drain it , transfer the shrimp into a
small dish for the interim, and stir the pasta through the frying pan to
pick up all of the good flavor. Feel free to add a little more olive
oil to the pasta if necessary, but I found that swirling it around the
frying pan was more than adequate. At this point, I added a finely
chopped Spring onion- the heat of the pasta will cook it just enough to
take the harshness out of it and make it somewhat milder, though still
savory and fresh.
Spoon the pasta into your serving plate and distribute
the shrimps and creamy, tangy cheese evenly, along with plenty of fresh
dill. Sprinkle generously with chili flakes- of if you have them, as I
did with flakes of smoked paprika. Squeeze a few drops of lime onto it
and serve with a nice glass of Corvo Bianco... and imagine you are
enjoying your meal under the Sicilian sun... or on a pirate ship!