What, you don't speak Italian.
Shells with Fennel and Shrimp
In a nutshell, Shrimp Scampi with Fennel.
The recipe is from Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich. I was really unimpressed with the dish. Multiple steps, all simple, but still. And really was just scampi.
Try for yourself if you want.
1 Medium Fennel Bulb
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 pound medium shrimp (about 30), shelled, deveined and cut in half crosswise
1 pound pasta shells
2 TB butter
Crushed hot red pepper
Makes 6 servings
These instructions are my version, the book version is very wordy
Small saucepan of water to a boil. Clean the fronds and outer layer off the fennel, Cut into quarters. Drop into water, bring back to a boil and keep it going for 3 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the water and drain the rest. Rinse in cold water until cool to the touch. Remove the core and slice into quarters, set aside.
Bring big pot of water to a boil for pasta. When boiling....add the salt and pasta. Stir, return to a boil...about 8 minutes until it's done.
Pour oil into a pan and turn to medium heat. Add garlic, smash it first and the hot pepper. Give it three minutes, stirring. At that time, bring the heat to high and add the shrimp. One minute per side. Remove shrimp, with garlic to a bowl.
Lower heat to medium. Add the fennel, butter and reserved water. Give it four minutes. Add the shrimp and garlic back...toss to coat. Your pasta should be done at this point. Drain and toss with shrimp and buttery sauce.
I added a pinch of parsley, just to add some color. Then sprinkled with a bit of parm.
As I said, it was ok, I expected better, not horrible, but not exciting and great either.