Maximo’s was for many years among the hippest Italian restaurants imaginable. Although most of its menu had a distinctly Northern Italian flavor, this pasta dish–a specialty since day one–was very clearly a New Orleans dish. It’s quite spicy and quite rich at the same time. I never had a dish quite like it. And if you haven’t, it’s too late. Maximo’s closed a couple of years ago. Fortinately, it has been replaced by the very good Trinity’s. Which isn’t especially Italian at all. Fortunately, we have the Past Rosa recipe, and it’s not hard to make. Here goes.
- 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped garlic
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 2 Tbs. water from pasta pot
- 24 medium peeled shrimp
- 8 julienne slices sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/2 cup sliced arugula (spinach can be substituted)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 lb. cooked, drained cheese tortellini
- 1/2 cup grated romano cheese
1. In a wide skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until it shimmers, and saute the garlic and crushed red pepper until the garlic is fragrant.
2. Add the 2 Tbs. of pasta water and whisk in. Add the shrimp and tomatoes, and saute until the shrimp turn pink.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and add the arugula, salt, and cooked pasta. Toss in the pan to coat with the sauce and distribute the shrimp. Add the Romano cheese, toss quickly one more time, and serve.