California Central Coast Recipes

Shrimp with Angel Hair and Saffron

Shrimp with Angel Hair and Saffron is a trito based pasta dish. Unlike some of our other shrimp pastas like Shrimp Scampi Style, this is a very mellow pasta dish. There is something very mellow about a trito -onion, carrot and celery, with saffron, that agrees with me especially when I am down and a little bit off. When combined with melt-in-your-mouth angel hair pasta, I am in heaven!

The key to this recipe is a really good shrimp stock-reduction. To get an intense shrimp flavor, you really need to use preferably whole shrimp with heads, or at least shrimp with shells. Shelling the shrimp takes a little effort (or you can train your husband to do this -men like playing with knives!), but the results are really worth it. If you are pressed for time, you can make the stock in advance, then quickly finish the pasta later when you are ready to serve. 2018, Shrimp with Angel Hair and Saffron
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
re-calculate ingredients for:


2 pounds Shrimp with heads on
3/4 cup Celery chopped
1 cup White onion chopped
3/4 cup Carrot peeled and chopped
4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cups Dry White Wine
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoons Black Pepper Corns
1/4 teaspoons Saffron Threads
1/2 teaspoons Dried Thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup Italian Parsley chopped
4 oz Angel Hair Pasta

Preparation Directions.

1 Rinse off the shrimp. Remove and reserve the heads and shells

2 In a large stock pot over medium high heat add 1/2 the olive oil. Add the shrimp and saute until just pink, about 1 to 2 minutes -do not over cook! Remove the shrimp and reduce the heat to medium. Add the carrot, celery and half the onion and saute until soft and sweet, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, and turn up the heat and bring to boil for a minute or two, then add the water, saffron, garlic, thyme and shrimp heads and shells. Bring just to a boil then reduce the heat, cover and simmer and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Strain and reserve the stock. At this point you can stop and refrigerate all the preparation for finishing later.

3 When ready to finish the pasta, Reheat the reserved stock. In a large saute pan over medium heat, add the remaining olive oil and onion. Saute the onion until just soft sweet and golden. Add in 1/2 the reserved stock, turn up the heat to high and reduce down by 1/2 to 2/3 (About 10 minutes). When reduced, turn the heat to low and correct seasoning. Then add the shrimp and cook just enough to warm through.

4 Meanwhile, while the stock is being reduced , in a large pasta pan or stockpot, boil water. Just before adding the angel hair, add a tablespoon of salt to the boiling water. Add the angel hair, and cook until al dente (about 4 to 5 minutes). If the angel is in nests, be sure to stir frequently to release the pasta threads.

5 Remove the pasta, drain well and add to the shrimp reduction. Toss well with the chopped parsley, adding a little of the heated reserved unreduced stock as you toss the pasta to create a nice juicy coating.

6 Serve immediately.

Wine and Food Pairing and Serving Suggestions.

This is a very mild pasta, and will pair well with a simple dry Pinot Gris or a Pinot Grigio

A tip from Sue!

Shake That Can!

When selecting a can of vegetables, fruit or stew-like contents, while holding the can in your hand and carefully rotating it back and forth, you can tell just HOW MUCH volume is made up of actual solids versus liquid (i.e buying a can of canned whole tomatoes in their juices). The less slippage back and forth, the higher the solid food-content versus liquid and a better bargain for the price!