Ancho Chile, Shrimp, and Pasta

If you don't have access to ancho chiles, you can steer more to the Italian side and just use 1/4 teaspoon of red chili flakes to brighten up this dish.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 as a main or 4 to 6 as a side.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces long, thin pasta such as spaghetti or fettucini
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (grapeseed or canola)
  • 3 thinly sliced cloves garlic
  • 1 ounce (about 2 medium to large) dried ancho chiles, rinsed, seeded and deveined
  • 1/2 pound 21-25 count raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed, the shrimp pieces cut into thirds
  • Black pepper
  • Freshly grated Parmesan
  • Lime or lemon juice, fresh squeezed

Method

1 Cook the pasta: Put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta when you start this recipe. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente.

While the water is coming to a boil and while the pasta is cooking, prepare the rest of the recipe as follows.

2 Lightly brown the garlic: Heat oil in a small skillet on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add sliced garlic. Cook until lightly browned, then remove with a slotted spoon to a large bowl.

3 Fry sliced ancho chiles in oil: Thinly slice the ancho chiles (can chiffonade as you would with basil, just roll up into a cigar shape and slice crosswise). Add the sliced chiles to the hot oil and cook ONLY for 20 to 30 seconds.

Remove with a slotted spoon to the bowl with the garlic. Do not over-cook the chiles or they will get bitter.

slice dried ancho chiles fry sliced ancho chiles in oil

4 Cook shrimp in ancho chili oil: Add the raw shrimp to the pan with the now chile and garlic infused oil. Increase the heat to high, cook for a couple minutes, stirring frequently, until the shrimp is just turning pink. Remove from heat. Add the shrimp and oil to the bowl with the garlic and chiles.

cook shrimp in ancho chili oil

5 Combine pasta with shrimp, garlic, chiles, oil: Add the drained, cooked pasta to the bowl with the shrimp, garlic, chiles, and oil. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper and toss to combine.

6 Serve: To serve, portion out into bowls, sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan and a little lemon or lime juice.