Tagliatelle with Shrimp and Mastiha Cream Sauce

  • 1 pound (½ kilo) large shrimp, heads removed and shelled but with tails attached

  • Fresh strained juice of 1 lemon

  • 2 Tbsps. butter

  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, very finely chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • ½ tsp. small Mastiha crystals, pounded with a little salt

  • 3 large, firm ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

  • ¼ cup Mastiha liqueur

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 pound (½ kilo) tagliatelle or fettucine, boiled to al dente in salted water and drained

  1. Using a sharp paring knife, remove the threadlike intestine from the shrimp. Wash, drain, sprinkle with lemon juice and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon each of butter and olive oil in a large skillet. When the butter stops bubbling, add the onion and cook over medium-low heat until very soft, about 10-12 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for a minute or so.

  3. While the onions are cooking, pulverize the tomatoes in a food processor until smooth. Add them to the skillet, together with the pounded Mastiha. Cook the tomato-onion mixture over medium heat until thick, about 8 minutes. Add the Mastiha liqueur and let simmer another 3 minutes.

  4. Drain the shrimp and add them to the skillet. Simmer for about 4 minutes, or until the shrimp firm up and turn pink. Add the cream, season with salt and pepper and stir well but gently to combine. Just before removing from heat, add the last dab of butter. Serve hot over the hot pasta.