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in the kitchen with: kristina’s pasta with shrimp, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes

by Kristina Gill

This summer was incredibly hot in Rome.  The arrival of September has done us a tiny favor of bringing the temperature down to what should have been normal summer weather in the first place.  For this reason, we still have excellent summer produce in the markets, and I’ll be able to enjoy some of my favorite dishes for a few weeks to come.  One of these is pasta with shrimp, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes.  This is served in many different variations here in Rome.  Sometimes with short pasta, sometimes with linguine, sometimes there is more of a tomato base, sometimes there’s no tomato just zucchini and shrimp, sometimes there’s no zucchini, just tomato and shrimp… I personally love it when all three ingredients are together.  As with many of the recipes on the column from my own kitchen, this isn’t really one for precise proportions,  it is one to adapt to your palate and the quantities you have on hand.  –Kristina

About Kristina: Kristina Gill is the editor of the In the Kitchen With and Behind the Bar columns at DesignSponge.  She occasionally contributes her own recipes to the column, primarily her favorite recipes from the Roman or Italian kitchen, which she has picked up over the time she has lived in Rome.   Her most recent recipes have been for tiramisu, and for pomodori col riso (rice-stuffed tomatoes).  No matter how much a great plate of pasta or a pizza (done properly) may please her palate, Kristina will always gladly repay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.

See Kristina’s recipe after the jump.



Pasta with Shrimp, Zucchini, and Cherry Tomatoes*

Serves 4

  • 1 large clove of garlic, thinly slice
  • 4 zucchini, sliced thinly
  • 2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 12-16 shrimp, cleaned and deveined
  • 12 ounces (300g) pasta
  • olive oil, 4 tablespoons

* You may also choose to add a handful of your favorite herbs, and chili pepper to this.

Place a pot of water to boil.  Once the water arrives at boiling point, put the pasta in and begin the sauce.  In the mean time, place the garlic and olive oil in a large shallow pan and heat over medium flame.  Saute the garlic until it starts to take color. You may remove them slices at this point, if you prefer.  Lower the flame and add the zucchini and tomatoes.  Cook over a low flame until the zucchini have softened as much as you’d like, and the tomatoes have softened and have started to color the olive oil.  Add the shrimp and increase the flame to medium, stirring constantly so that the shrimp cook evenly and flavor the sauce.  Once the shrimp has cooked, remove the pan from the heat.  The shrimp can easily overcook and become rubbery so be careful.  Depending on the size of the shrimp, three-five minutes should be enough.  (You can do like me and put in a few extras as testers!)  Drain the pasta, careful not to dry it out totally.  Pour the pasta into a large serving bowl.  Pour the shrimp, zucchini, and tomatoes on top and toss the pasta to mix well.  If the sauce is too dry, you can add a little olive oil to help it out.



Why Kristina love this recipe

I love any recipe that I don’t have to measure, and that has zucchini and tomatoes in it.  I also love that this recipe never comes out the same, depending on the tomatoes I use, how I slice the zucchini, and any other improvised ingredients, like basil and parsley, that I may throw in.  Usually I add a lot of chili pepper to make it spicy.  This is one of my default orders from summer menus in Italy, and no matter the variation, it always tastes fantastic.


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