Pasta with Shrimp, Shallots, and Cherry Tomatoes in Madeira sauce

Perusing through one of my favorite magazines; Fine Cooking; which is also one of the only magazines I will not rip out any of the recipes, I keep the whole magazine. I do however use little post it tabs and mark out everything that looks and sounds like something we would enjoy. If I have a few of the ingredients on hand, I will add the balance of what the recipe asks for to my next grocery shopping list. There has been a few; OK a little more than a few occasions that after work I would run up town to the store and grab a couple of things needed to make one of the recipes for dinner that very night.

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A couple of weeks ago I came across this recipe, I had everything except the Madeira wine part; which I can only guess since it is in the title; was pretty a pretty important part of the recipe. I will also admit; I have heard of Madeira wine but it was not something I have used before. Straight from Wikipedia -”Madeira is a fortified Portuguese wine made in the Madeira Islands See I didn’t know that, I wonder if my friend SF; who I know reads my blog knew this? I’m sure he did…Now that I have a whole bottle of it, I will be looking for some recipes to use it up with. I hate wasting any and ingredients; especially wine.


5 medium shallots, 2 sliced crosswise into rings; 3 sliced lengthwise into strips
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
7 Tbsp olive oil; more as needed
Kosher salt
1½ pound jumbo shrimp (16-20 per lb) shelled and deveined, shells reserved.
Freshly cracked black pepper
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced lengthwise
½ cup Madeira – they asked for rainwater, my liquor store didn’t have it
1 lb cherry or grape tomatoes
¾ cup heavy cream
10 oz. campanelle pasta or similar
2 Tbsp capers, drained but not rinsed
2 Tbsp thinly sliced chives

In a small bowl, toss the shallot rings in the flour until coated. In a 10-inch skillet, heat 3 Tbsp od the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Working in batches, cook the shallot rings until golden brown, adding more oil if necessary, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt



In a 2 quart saucepan, boil the shrimp shells in 2 cups of well-salted water until the water is reduced to 1 ½ cups, about 5-8 minutes. Strain and set aside the broth.

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Season shrimp with salt and pepper. In a 12 inch or larger skillet, heat 2 Tbsp of the oil and butter over medium heat. Add half of the shrimp and cook until just cooked through, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining shrimp.

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Add the remaining 2 Tbsp oil, the garlic, and the shallot strips to the skillet and cook, stirring, until golden brown in spots, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the Madeira and cook until almost fully evaporated, about 3-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until most have burst and their liquid is reduced by half.  Add the cream and ½ cup of the shrimp broth; cook until the sauce thickens. 4-5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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Cook pasta according to the packages directions until al dente. Drain the pasta and add the pasta and capers to the sauce and toss. Adding shrimp broth if needed to loosen the sauce. Divide among 4 shallow bowls and garnish with chives and the fried shallots.

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