Spicy Garlic Shrimp with Capers Over Linguine

You won't believe how many capers are in this dish. But it works beautifully.
You won’t believe how many capers are in this dish. But it works beautifully.

Even if your Thanksgiving gathering was smaller than usual, you’re no doubt still recovering from all those days of heavy-lifting prepping and cooking.

You deserve a break — with a recipe that puts dinner on the table quickly and effortlessly now, plus has the decided advantage of providing way more bang for the buck than it ought.

“Spicy Garlic Shrimp with Capers” is such a dish.

It’s from the new cookbook, “I Cook in Color: Bright Flavors from My Kitchen and Around the World” (Running Press), of which I received a review copy. It was written by Asha Gomez, who runs the Atlanta culinary studio, The Third Space; and Martha Hall Foose, an award-winning cookbook author from Mississippi.

The book is a collection of recipes informed by Gomez’s dual Southern upbringing — born in Southern India and now living in the American South.

As the title of her cookbook implies, Gomez relishes cooking with both vibrant colors and vibrant flavors, as evidenced in recipes such as “Jade Salad,” “Dill and Red-Onion Rice,” “Pomegranate and Date Molasses Chicken in a Banana Leaf Packet,” and “Grandma Nisi’s Rose Pound Cake with Saffron-Poached Quince.”

“Spicy Garlic Shrimp with Capers” is served over linguine. But if you’re so inclined, you could swap that out for rice, polenta, or a heap of sauteed greens instead.

A can of tomatoes gets sauteed with plenty of garlic and my favorite Calabrian chili paste. I always keep a jar in my fridge because I love its distinctive and additive fruity-sweet, medium-spicy taste. (Hint: It’s awesome on pizza.)

When the tomatoes start to break down, whole shrimp and a load of capers get stirred in. And I do mean “load,” as it’s half a cup of capers. At first, I feared it might make the dish too salty. But all those capers get distributed well in the big tangle of pasta, providing a wonderful briny character that’s not too much at all.

This pasta dish is spicy, sweet, zesty and zingy in all the right ways. It’s a no-brainer dish you’ll be craving again and again, which is ideal as you gird yourself for a whole lot more of that intense holiday cooking in the days to come.

Its big, bold flavors make this one craveable dish.
Its big, bold flavors make this one craveable dish.

Spicy Garlic Shrimp with Capers

(Serves 4)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

6 garlic cloves, smashed

2 teaspoons Calabrian hot crushed chili

1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes

2 teaspoons granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tail on

1/2 cup brine-packed capers, drained

12 ounces linguine, cooked

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil. Add the garlic and let it turn golden brown; this should happen in under a minute. Add the hot crushed chili and stir for 30 seconds, so the chili blooms in the oil. Then add the tomatoes, sugar, and salt. Mix well. Lower the heat and let the tomatoes break down and cook for 20 minutes. Turn the heat back to high, toss in the shrimp and capers, and cook, stirring occasionally for 3 to 4 minutes until the shrimp is cooked. Remove from the heat and serve over linguine.

Notes: Find an Italian market, and you’ll be able to source Calabrian hot crushed chili. If you can’t find it, use regular crushed chili flakes.

From “I Cook In Color” by Asha Gomez with Martha Hall Foose

More Shrimp Recipes to Enjoy: Barley Risotto with Thyme Roasted Shrimp

And: Beach House Pasta with Shrimp and Grilled Limes

And: Spicy Korean Rice Sticks with Shrimp and Vegetables

And: Crisp Garlic Shrimp

And: Grilled Sesame Shrimp

And: Malaysian-Style Stir-Fried Turmeric Shrimp

And: Masala Shrimp

And: Hominy Grill’s Shrimp & Grits

And: Shrimp Simmered in Garlicky Beer Sauce

And: Shrimp Tamarind

And: Shrimp with Cilantro, Lime and Peanuts

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  • This is really good — my kind of dish. I’d probably serve this with linguine, but do like the greens idea. Such a nice dish — thanks.

  • I use a lot of capers in my cooking but that really is a lot…actually more than comes in the jar I buy. After saying that, I will still give the recipe a try once I find a jar of that chili paste.

  • I don’t know if the spouse would like this but I’m willing to take that chance. I keep a restaurant-sized jar of capers at all times!

  • Hi Judith: I bet the spouse eats it up. A couple of folks have since made this pasta dish after seeing me post on it, and I can report back that the response has been nothing but thumbs up! šŸ˜‰

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