Skip to main content

Shrimp and Leek Linguine in White Wine Sauce

By August 3, 2011February 1st, 2013Food, Local Food, Main Courses, pasta, Recipes


I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday! I’ve been haphazardly trying to get ready for BlogHer, and am completely scattered and am already missing home. I’m such a homebody. I like nothing more than cooking dinner with Neil and sitting down together to watch Food Network and work on design projects.

To make our shortened week together as romantic as possible, and despite the oppressing triple digit heat that is still rocking our state, I decided to make a big bowl of pasta for dinner last night. We used to make pasta all the time when we were dating long distance and driving back and forth on the weekends.


Pasta has to be the quintessential date night food. Maybe it’s the fluidity of noodles moving around on the plate or how you twist them with your fork, but it just oozes romance to me. Am I a weirdo? Definitely.


Les Bourgeois Vidal Blanc

So pasta was on the mind menu, but with the temperature reaching nearly 110 degrees today,  nothing with heavy tomato bases or traditional cream sauces seemed all that appetizing. We’ve been fully stocked with local Missouri wines as of late, so I thought a light white wine sauce was just the ticket to seduce Neil without feeling like beaching myself on the couch afterward.

This recipe was in one of the first Bon Appétit magazines I ever read. I didn’t know how to cook for myself at all, and I remember feeling like making a dish like this was so out of my reach.


1 pound small uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined, shells reserved
1 3/4 cups water

6 tablespoons olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only from about 2 large)
1/4 cup thinly sliced stemmed drained peperoncini (about 4 whole)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons minced lemon peel
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 pound linguine
Chopped fresh parsley


  1. Place shrimp shells in medium saucepan. Add 1 3/4 cups water and a generous pinch of salt.
    Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced to 1 cup liquid, about 15 minutes. Strain into measuring cup, pressing on shells to extract as much liquid as possible.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and sauté until opaque, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to medium bowl.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil to same skillet. Add garlic and sauté until soft, about 1 minute. Stir in leeks, peperoncini, oregano, and lemon peel. Cover and cook until leeks are soft, about 3 minutes. Uncover; add wine, lemon juice, and shrimp-shell liquid. Increase heat to high and boil until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Add pasta and shrimp to skillet with sauce and toss to coat. Add enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to large bowl. Garnish with parsley.


When I mentioned on Twitter the other day that I was cooking with wine made in Missouri, many people @’me totally baffled and skeptical. I guess Neil and I have just become so accustomed to seeing it and having it be available to us that I forget a lot of people don’t know about our wonderful wineries here in Missouri. And it’s not a new thing. Missouri has produced wonderful varietals for over 150 years!

I love wine-based sauces because they are delicate and sweet and coat the noodles without being sticking or overly thick. This was a particularly beautiful sauce, and the addition of shrimp and leek made gave it beautiful color and almost a glimmer when it hit the sun. Parting is such sweet …eats?