Thursday, November 20, 2008

Spaghetti Marco Polo - A Chitalian Stir-Fry

This is a mongrel dish that refuses to be claimed by a specific cuisine; the ingredients are Italian but the cooking method is decidedly Chinese. Here's my bad... while on a train, my ears perked up when I heard folks talking food - actually I was eavesdropping - and while I didn't catch all the particulars I heard just enough to get the jist of this recipe and put it on my must try list. While I suspect the dish has its origins in Australia or New Zealand (these folks were Aussies), I'm going to call it Chitalian and let it go at that. You'll need a pasta with a slight bite, shrimp, and a tube of sun-dried tomato paste (not to be confused with concentrated tomato paste) to make this super fast and easy entree. Some basil and sun-dried tomato strips make a nice garnish. I've probably missed some ingredients, but based on what I heard this is it and it's so tasty I haven't tried to improve it. It's a wonderful family meal that's also good for casual entertaining. I think you'll enjoy this.

Spaghetti Marco Polo

12-ounces Chinese style noodles or spaghetti
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 to 2 teaspoons freshly minced garlic
3 to 4 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste (supplier link)
Pasta water
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish: fresh basil leaves, oil packed sun-dried strips

1) Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a rolling boil. Cook pasta per package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water.
2) Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a wok or large deep-sided frying pan. Add shrimp and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking until the shrimp turn pink, about 2 minutes longer.
3) Stir in 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato paste. Toss to coat. Transfer to a bowl. Keep warm.
4) Add reserved 1 tablespoon oil to wok. Stir in remaining sun-dried tomato paste. Add noodles and toss to coat. Add pasta water, a tablespoon at a time, to form a glistening sauce. Return shrimp to pan; toss again to combine. Adjust salt and peppper to taste. Turn onto a serving plate. Garnish with basil and sun-dried tomato strips. Yield: 4 servings.

I'm sending this recipe on to Nilmandra of Soy and Pepper who is hosting Presto Pasta Nights , an event created by Ruth at Once Upon A Feast.


Cathy said...

I've put sun dried tomato paste on my shopping list. This is a beautiful entree and one I know my family will love. This time of year easy to put together meals are a blessing.

Allie said...

We love shrimp and noodles. I can't wait to add the tomato pasta in there next time.

Maria said...

I love sun dried tomatoes, goes perfect in pasta!!

Pam said...

A simple and delicious meal. I love all the flavors! Great photo too.

The Inexperienced Foodie said...

i wish i were half the cook you are everything looks so good

Mary Bergfeld said...

Steph, congratulations on your win.
You're a better cook than you think.

Aggie said...

You have the best looking dishes! That pasta looks fantastic!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Thanks to you all. I hope you'll enjoy the recipe.

test it comm said...

That pasta looks really tasty!

Ruth Daniels said...

Eavesdropping with such a fine result! Excellent and thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

Anonymous said...

Ok, that just looks wonderful. I am so putting that on my must try list.

Mary Bergfeld said...

Katie, I'm so glad you stopped by. Come often.

Unknown said...

That's so neat how you heard about this recipe, it looks full of flavor and fresh. I like the unique twist. I'd like to include your recipe on our blog, please let me know if you're interested :).

Sophie, Key Ingredient Chief Blogger

Mary Bergfeld said...

Sophie, I'm so glad you found my blog. I hope you'll come often. As the recipe is not original feel free to use as meets your needs. But please state source is unknown.

Peter M said...

I suppose one could whiz their own paste, no?

Sun-dried tomatoes are a great winter condiment and this dish is definitely a family-style serving!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Peter, it's a bit tricky to make your own. There are other things in the sun-dried tomato paste. I'm not saying it can't be done --- with garlic, oil and anchovies in the right proportion it can be done very nicely. But to hit just the right balance is tricky. Much easier to order if it's not locally available.

free online adventure games said...

I was looking around for a simple pasta recipe that didn't have cream (cooking for the lactose-intolerant) and that didn't require a huge amount of different ingredients. This is just perfect. Reminds me of one of those fried noodle dishes.

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