Contrary to what is believed in Texas and New York, bigger is not always better. I believe this to be true for shrimp, squash, and tongues. Stay with me. By tongues, I mean those made of pasta, i.e, linguine, which is the plural, diminutive form of lingua, and so means “little tongues” in Italian. These little tongues are the perfect width for so many types of sauces, including seafood sauces, because they grab a bit more sauce than spaghetti. (Note that linguine (leen gwee nay) ends with an e, and is not “linguini,” which rhymes with weenie and is an American mispronunciation.) A gambero is a shrimp, and so a gamberetto is a small shrimp, and gamberetti is the plural. I like gamberetti because big shrimp are hard to eat with pasta, while small shrimp are tender and tasty, and require no knife. And finally, zucchine is the plural of zucchina, or squash, as opposed to the larger zucca, which is a pumpkin. (On this one, both zucchine and zucchini are correct, depending on where you are in Italy, so the American “zucchini” is technically correct in both languages.) As an aside, and to further confuse matters, fiori di zucca are the flowers of zucchini not pumpkins. And as a bonus word, feel free to call some one a testa di zucca, or pumpkin head, especially if they’re acting like a moron.
Now go enjoy a big bowl of all of these small things, together with a big glass of wine, preferably from a small vineyard from small town in Italy.
Check out our wine pairings to complement this recipe.
Sunday Pasta®: Linguine con Zucchine e Gamberetti (Zucchini and Shrimp)
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 1x
- 1 pound linguine (or spaghetti)
- 3 small zucchini (julienned)
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ lb small shrimp (fresh or frozen)
- 1 onion, small chop
- 2 gloves garlic, minced
- Salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- Clean and thinly slice the zucchini and finely chop the onion. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it is translucent, then add the zucchini. Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until the zucchini is golden brown. Set aside. In a separate skillet, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil and add the garlic. After about a minute, add the peeled and cleaned shrimp. Cook until slightly golden and most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Season with salt, black pepper and finish cooking for another minute. Add the shrimp to the skillet with the zucchini.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and add 2 tablespoons of sea salt. Cook the pasta until al dente, drain it, and add it to the skillet with the zucchini and shrimp. Toss to mix well over medium heat.
- Serve it immediately.