CALAMARATA PASTA (Mezzi Paccheri), with Shrimp, Black Olives and Cherry Tomatoes





What  wonderful festive pasta for a Friday night dinner.   We don't live in an area where we can find fresh Shrimp.  There are some good quality bags of frozen shrimp out there.  I look always for wild caught, Atlantic/Pacific shrimp.  I picked up several frozen bags of good quality Atlantic shrimp while at the Whole foods Market in Memphis, TN.   I always keep a can of Italian black olives in the pantry.  There are always salted Sicilian capers in the refrigerator.  There is never a shortage of white wine.  I went to the garden to pick some cherry tomatoes,   If you are in a hurry, this sauce is not only fresh, but full of flavor.  You will be making it too.

Ingredients:  Serves 4-6 people.
About one pint of cherry tomatoes/ rinsed and dried
4 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
one can of Italian black olives, drained and rinsed.
one large clove of garlic diced or left whole, smashed, and sauteed for flavor and removed before serving.
12 oz of  medium, peeled, cleaned shrimp, rinsed/drained and pat dry with paper towels.
one handle full of parsley/ chopped and a few leaves left whole for garnish
1/2 cup of White wine
2 tablespoons salted capers.
1 pound of pasta cooked in boiling salted water to al dente

Into a skillet heat your oil, saute your garlic until fragrant. Add your black olives and smash some with the back of a spoon.  Add your tomatoes and do the same.. After a few minutes you will notice your cherry tomatoes will begin to color your oil some.. Keep cooking on medium / low and add your shrimp.  Cook for a few minutes until your shrimp are cooked through.  Add 1/2 cup of white wine and let evaporate.  Add your capers, turn off your heat.  Cook your pasta as directed, drain, and mix.  Serve on a large, decorative platter.   Add your parsley for garnish. Can it get any easier? 

Special note:  The name, "Calamarata" pasta refers to a shape similar to that of cut up calamari rings.  If you have trouble finding them, look for the largest rigatoni type or tubular pasta you can find.
Buon Appetito~

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