Red Wine Pasta with Shrimp and Tarragon
Have you read or watched Eat Pray Love? It’s one of my favorite books, and one of my favorite movies. There is a scene in the movie where the author, played by Julia Roberts, talks about her favorite Italian word: attraversiamo. It means “let’s cross over” and she says it embodies all of the beautiful characteristics of the Italian language: “The perfect combination of Italian sounds – the wistful ah, the rolling trill, the soothing s…”. It’s true, right? Attraversiamo.
When I was at the farmers’ market a few weeks ago, I thought of that word, because I came upon… vincotto fettucini.
Doesn’t that sound so distinctly Italian, too? It might not have the emotional pull of Eat Pray Love’s attraversiamo but I wanted to say the words over and over again. More so, I wanted to eat it.
Last year, I discovered a beautiful sriracha pasta at the Charles Square Farmer’s Market, and since then I’ve been eager to try more pasta from Valicenti Organico. So I was thrilled when I chanced upon another bright-hued pasta: the rich-sounding vincotto fettucini.
Vincotto means “cooked wine” and this pasta is made with red wine. I always add a splash of red wine when I make tomato sauce, but I’ve never had wine pasta itself, so I was intrigued.
I was tempted to make a simple aglio olio preparation again (same way I prepared the sriracha spaghettini, and one of my favorite ways to eat pasta) but David, the friendly owner of Valicenti, suggested making a sauce with tarragon and shallots. That sounded especially good to me, and I decided to throw in some shrimp as well.
Red Wine Pasta (Vincotto Fettucini) with Shrimp and Tarragon
12 oz fresh red wine pasta (vincotto fettucini)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
4 tablespoons minced shallots
4 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
1/2 lb cooked shrimp
juice of half a lemon
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat olive oil and butter over medium heat in a large saute pan. Add shallots and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- While shallots are cooking, prepare pasta according to package directions. Fresh pasta only takes about a couple of minutes to cook, so watch it carefully.
- Add tarragon (reserving about one tablespoon for garnish), cooked shrimp, and red pepper flakes to the shallots in the pan. Turn off heat.
- Drain pasta, add to pan, and toss to mix with the shrimp mixture. Squeeze fresh lemon juice on top of the pasta, season with salt and pepper. Garnish with remaining tarragon.
I really liked this dish, it tasted very fresh. The sharp and almost licorice-like flavor of tarragon paired well with shallots and the tang of lemon juice. And the red wine pasta was supple and tasted almost fleshy. The wine flavor was very mellow, which made the pasta a nice base for the herbed shrimp.
I still prefer the sriracha spaghettini though, but that’s because I’m a sucker for spice (and bright colors). But in any case, I’m glad I was able to try this vincotto fettucini.
Vincotto fettucini… Attraversiamo… Maybe I should take some Italian lessons.