8ounceschorizosliced into 1/3-inch rounds. That should give you about 16 rounds – four per person.
For the shrimp
16frozen shrimpor prawns — defrosted, and well drained off any excess water on kitchen towel. The ones I used were about 3 inches long, deveined, heads-off, shells and tails on. Total weight was just over ¾ pound.
For the tagliatelle
1poundfettucinedurum wheat fettucine is recommended
Use a saucepan that’s only going to be about a third or less full when all the sauce’s ingredients are added to it. This will give you a broad base of heat that really helps to gently sweat down the onions and garlic, and to soften the tomatoes.
Place the pan on a medium heat and add the olive oil. Swirl the oil all around the bottom, and then stir in the onions, garlic, salt and sugar. Drop the heat to low and set a lid just ajar on the top. The trick here is let the onions and garlic cook slowly for about 15 minutes or so with a few mindful stirs. What must not happen is for them to start picking up any fried colour. Over that low heat, you want the onions to turn translucent and for the garlic to soften so it’s easily mashed with the back of a teaspoon.
Once that happens, add the tomatoes and juice, give the pan and thorough stir, and turn the heat to medium. As soon as the sauce just barely starts to bubble, drop the heat to low and cover the pan. For the next 15 minutes, it’s a process of stir-and-cover until the tomatoes begin to fall apart in their own gently simmering juices – and I mean gently simmering.
Keeping the heat on low, now use a spatula to break apart any chunks of tomato, and work them into the sauce.
Add the black pepper and continue to cook the sauce — uncovered now — with a few stirs. for another 10 gentle minutes. Good. Your pomodoro is ready. Turn off the heat and cover the pan. Time now for the prawns and chorizo.
Cooking the prawns and the chorizo
For this, you’ll need a big, heavy, deep skillet that’s amply large enough to hold the pomodoro sauce, and all the shrimp and chorizo. Why so big? Well, that’s where the sauce, chorizo, and shrimp come together for their final few minutes’ cooking.
So, set your skillet onto a medium-high heat and add the butter. As soon as it starts to foam, add all the shrimp in a single layer. Let them sizzle away for 90 seconds, and then turn them all over for another 90 seconds’ sizzling.
Take the skillet off the heat, and use a slotted spoon to quickly remove the shrimp, setting them aside on a dinner plate. Keep as much of the buttery juices as you can in the skillet. The more the better because that’s where the chorizo is heading right now.
Set the skillet back on a medium-high heat, and add the slices of chorizo. You want these to fry for about 90 seconds or so on each side so that they just begin to take on a little darkening colour. Good. Turn off the heat and use your slotted spoon to remove the slices, and set them on the plate with the shrimp. Time to cook the pasta.
Cooking the fettuccine
Fill a big pan three quarters full of water, set it on a high heat and add the salt. As soon as it reaches a rolling boil add the fettucine. Let the pasta boil for about 9 minutes – or however long it suggests on the pack – until it’s just al dente. Turn off the heat, and drain the pasta in a big colander. Let it sit there steaming away for a minute or so, and then return it to the still-warm pan it boiled in.
Add ½ tablespoon butter and ½ teaspoon salt. Give the pasta a few good stirs so it all gets coated in the salt and melting butter, and then cover the pan. Good, you’re nearly done.
Bringing it all together – pretty promptly
Return your buttery skillet to a medium-high heat, pour in all the pomodoro sauce, and add the sliced serranos.
Give it a good stir so that all the skillet’s juices and chili get thoroughly mixed into the sauce. Keep the skillet on that medium-high heat until the sauce just starts to bubble. Now add the shrimp, chorizo, and juices from the plate they were sitting on.
Stir just enough so that the sauce coats the shrimp and chorizo. Drop the heat to low, and let the sauce come back up to a bare simmer. Done. Turn off the heat. You’re ready to serve – straightaway, please.
Set a portion of fettuccine into the centre of each diner’s plate. Then top it with an equable amount of sauce, shrimp and chorizo.
Forks and spoons are all that’s also needed now – plus some napkins for folk who’ll be sensibly using their fingers to enjoy their shrimp.
To drink. It’s an easy choice for me here. A slightly fruity, crisply dry, sparkling white, please. Anything well-chilled out of California that fits those simple criteria would be most welcome.