When I spent my college years in New York City, each weeknight was a food adventure, from India Town to Chinatown, Little Italy, and beyond. I remember stumbling onto this quaint little Italian restaurant, and every time I had a craving for Italian, I’d find my way there. I believe it was over on Mulberry Street. The name escapes me after all these years. What hasn’t left me was the warm service with seasoned servers, who spoke Italian, and their spicy shrimp marinara over linguini. Over the years, I’ve made variations of that dish many times over.
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
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
½ 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 linguini.
Find an Italian market, and you’ll be able to source the Calabrian hot crushed chili. If you can’t find it, use regular crushed chili flakes.