Linguine with Tomato Basil Habanero Sauce and Bacon Wrapped Shrimp is sure to heat up your summer night! Creamy, smoky and spicy!
When our tomatoes begin to ripen and our fresh basil takes off, my husband makes this super-spicy pasta dish that we both love. He has made it every summer for about as long as we’ve been married–almost 19 years.
The recipe calls for habanero peppers–some of the hottest peppers grown. They range between 100,000 and 350,000 Scoville heat units (SHU), so one habanero goes a long way. Dried smoked habaneros are available at most grocery stores and Hispanic markets, although we smoke and dry our own homegrown habaneros.
If a habanero is too hot for you, use a smoked and dried jalapeno, otherwise known as a chipotle pepper. Those range in heat from 5,000 to 10,000 SHU. An even milder substitution at 1,000 to 2,000 SHU is an ancho pepper, which is a dried fresh poblano. A dried ancho pepper can be somewhat leathery, so a 20-minute soak in hot water will make it easier to chop.
When handling hot peppers of any variety, it’s wise to wear disposable gloves, refrain from touching sensitive areas such as your eyes and keep your work area ventilated.
Although all that heat from hot peppers can be hard to handle, they all contain capsaicin, which is purported to have numerous health benefits–from boosting metabolism to pain control in topical creams.
To add protein to the dish, you could add plain cooked shrimp. To ratchet up the smoky flavor, bacon-wrapped shrimp are a very tasty addition. Cooking shrimp wrapped in bacon works well using thin bacon and at least 16-20 count (per pound) shrimp. The sauce is also delicious with chicken.
Linguine and fettuccine work well with cream sauces. However, in a pinch we’ve used penne and farfalle.
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