Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Linguine with Shrimp and Baby Zucchini

Spiaggia is one of Chicago's most famous restaurants, known for a wonderful Italian cuisine and surpassing attention to detail (like a tradition of making every risotto to order, rather than par-cooking it halfway like most restaurants). So I was interested to flip through their cookbook and see what, if anything, would be possible to pull off in under an hour with a small number of ingredients. Cookbooks from four-star restaurants are often full of dishes with so many ingredients and steps it's hardly a weeknight project.

I settled on this simple pasta but made some changes. Instead of homemade pasta, I opted for a high-quality dried variety; instead of lobster stock, I went with good fish stock from a local fishmonger. And it was actually that fish stock that really set this dish apart: it's added to the skillet after the shrimp cooks, reducing into an unctuous sauce made even more rich with butter, which is cooked with the pasta for the final two minutes to marry the flavors beautifully.

Between the tender shrimp, sweet zucchini, and rich sauce, this meal goes from pedestrian to special.

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