Squid ink pasta with shrimp, roasted tomatoes & spicy bacon breadcrumbs

One of my all-time favorite pastimes is getting drunk in the kitchen. It leads to a lot of fun and almost always a really delicious meal at the end, but unfortunately it also probably means I haven’t written anything down as far as a recipe goes.

Thanks to this blog, however, I’m now determined to document what I’m doing. Through a combination of yelling out directions while Jeffrey takes notes + reviewing my own terrible Snapchat story, I’ve done just that.

jeff's pasta notes
Exhibit A.

Last night’s mission was to recreate an incredible pasta dinner for two I had at Sotto — an italian spot in Cincinnati that is among the best restaurants I’ve been to in the world — truly. Their dish is the perfect combination of homemade pasta, succulent shrimp and spicy breadcrumbs. The stone crab addition was just a result of me possessing no self-restraint at Findlay Market. You can use your own combination of spice, but I opted for this mix — appropriately named “apocalypse.”

Pop open a bottle of wine and get this pasta going for date night; I promise you won’t regret it.

squid ink pasta with shrimp

PS — If you’re extra like me and manage to get your hands on some stone crab, remember that stone crab is almost always already cooked, so the idea is to just warm it up. Place it on a sheet tray with some water, cover with aluminum foil and stick it in the oven at 350°F for about eight minutes before serving.

Squid ink pasta with shrimp, roasted tomatoes & spicy bacon breadcrumbs

Ingredients

  • 3 bundles squid ink linguini (you can use regular linguini, of course)
  • 3 strips of bacon (I used peppered for an extra kick)
  • 1 ½ cups traditional panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 ounce spice blend
  • 1/2 pound fresh shrimp, shell on
  • 3 large tomatoes OR 1 pound cherry tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • Parsley, salt, pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F
  2. Place tomatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 20 minutes.
  3. While tomatoes roast, make your breadcrumb mixture. Cook bacon to a crisp. Reserve bacon fat in pan. Add bacon, bread crumbs and spice mixture to a blender and blend until everything is combined and uniform. (If you don't want to mess with a blender, you can just chop the bacon up really finely and mix everything together.)
  4. In a separate pan, add butter and cook over medium heat until it is brown in color and has a nutty smell, about 5 minutes. Add the breadcrumb mixture to butter and toast until golden brown. Set aside.
  5. While your tomatoes cool, sear shrimp on each side in the bacon fat. Transfer to a plate.
  6. Peel the skin from your tomatoes and dice flesh. Deglaze the bacon-fat-and-shrimp pan with red wine, making sure to scrape any bacon bits up from the bottom.
  7. Add tomatoes and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook until the sauce begins to bubble. Add shrimp to sauce to cook through.
  8. Cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Finish by tossing with the sauce and shrimp.
  9. Spin pasta and sauce into separate bowls. Top with a generous serving of spicy breadcrumbs and garnish with parsley.
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