Spaghetti With Shrimp, Togarashi, and Thai Basil Oil

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READY IN: 1hr 15mins
Recipe by Dr. Jenny

I made this today for lunch from the January 2011 issue of Bon Appetit. This was my first experience with Shaoxing wine and togarashi (Japanese spice blend). I enjoyed both! This recipe is really good. I cheated and used a store-bought basil oil instead of making mine fresh as this looks like it yields way more basil oil than is needed to drizzle on the dish. Perhaps in the summer, I will try making the basil oil for this dish and then using it for other recipes. Also, my sauce came out a little more liquidy than I would have expected (it still tasted good), so you may want to simmer longer. I simmered longer than 20 minutes (more like 30 or 35) and turned up the heat when simmering the clam juice and Shaoxing and also simmered the cream sauce longer and it was still liquidy, but tasted good. This is supposed to serve 8 appetizer servings. I would say it serves about 4-6 for lunch.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 12 cup packed fresh Thai basil (or fresh sweet basil leaves)
  • 14 cup plus 3 tb olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons minced lemongrass
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 (8 ounce) bottles clam juice
  • 12 cup shaoxing wine
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 24 uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 1 tablespoon shichimi togarashi

Directions

  1. Blanch basil in small saucepan of boiling water 5 seconds; drain. Squeeze water from basil; place in blender. Add 1/4 cup oil and pinch of salt and blend until smooth. Strain basil oil into small pitcher. (Do ahead: Basil oil can be made 1 week ahead. Cover; chill).
  2. Heat 1 Tb oil in heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallot, lemongrass, and garlic; saute until soft, about 2 minutes. Add clam juice and Shaoxing. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 20 minutes. Add cream; simmer sauce until reduced to 1 3/4 cups, about 20 minutes.
  3. Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile, sprinkle shrimp with shichimi togarashi and salt. Heat 2 Tb oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; cook until opaque in center, turning once, about 5 minutes.
  5. Drain pasta; transfer to large bowl. Reheat sauce. Toss pasta with sauce. Place shrimp atop pasta; drizzle with basil oil.

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