In the December issue of 7x7, we chose the seven best cookbooks to gift your foodie (“The Cook’s Bookshelf”). We’re in the giving mood, so here are our favorite recipes from each tome.

From SPQR: Modern Italian Food and Wine, by Shelley Lindgren and Matthew Accarrino, with Kate Leahy:

Spaghetti with Shrimp and Tomato Passatina

Serves 4-6

Extra virgin olive oil

1/2 yellow onion, finely diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 carrot, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

1 pound shell-on raw baby shrimp

Kosher salt and black pepper

A pinch of dried red pepper flakes

1/2 cup white wine

1 1/2 cups canned tomatoes

4 breadsticks, like grissini, broken up

2 teaspoons chopped parsley

12 ounces fresh spaghetti or dried

1. Heat a thin film of olive oil in a large, wide pot over medium heat.

2. Stir in the onion and sweat until softened, 3 minutes.

3. Stir in the garlic and sweat 1 to 2 minutes more until aromatic.

4. Add the carrot and sweat until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.

5. Turn up the heat to medium-high, stir in the shrimp, and season with salt, pepper, and pepper flakes.

6. Pour in the wine and bring to a simmer.

7. Stir in the tomato and return to a simmer.

8. Pour in 1 cup of water, lower the heat, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the shrimp are soft enough to break up with a wooden spoon if pressed.

9. Stir the broken grissini pieces into the pot, remove from the heat, and stir in the parsley.

10. Place a food mill fitted with a coarse plate over a clean pot.

11. In batches, pass the shrimp and broth through the food mill. You will have a coarse paste. (If it’s too dry to go through the food mill, stir in more water).

12. Taste the shrimp paste and season with salt and pepper.

13. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.

14. Cook the spaghetti for 4 minutes if using fresh, and as directed on the package if using dry.

15. Drain the spaghetti, reserving a cup of pasta water, and return the spaghetti to the pasta pot.

16. Stir spoonfuls of the shrimp paste into the spaghetti until evenly coated, adding a few spoonfuls of water if the pasta looks dry, and simmer for one more minute before serving.


Reprinted with permission from SPQR: Modern Italian Food and Wine, by Shelley Lindgren and Matthew Accarrino with Kate Leahy, copyright © 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.