Infusing shrimp with pungent chillies and garlic, and then flambéeing with vodka gives the shrimp an incredible boost of fresh flavour - as if they were just plucked from the ocean.
3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil
1 1/2 lbs (750 g) large deveined raw shrimp, peeled but with tails left on2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 to 1 tsp (2 to 5 mL) chilli pepper flakes, or to tasteSalt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup (75 mL) vodka2 small red bell peppers, cut into thin strips
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into thin strips
1 cup (250 mL) fish or chicken stock
1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream
1 tbsp (15 mL) grated orange zest
3/4 lb (375 g) fettuccine
1/3 cup (75 mL) chopped flat-leaf parsley
Place half of the oil in a large nonstick heavy skillet and heat over high heat until almost smoking. Add shrimp, garlic, chilli pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring, for about one minute or until shrimp are pink and almost cooked through. Add vodka and ignite with a match. Cook, shaking pan, until flames subside. Transfer shrimp and juices to a bowl.
Add remaining oil to skillet and heat until hot. Add red pepper and fennel strips and cook, stirring, for two minutes or until tender-crisp. Transfer to bowl with shrimp.
Add stock, cream and orange zest to skillet. Bring to a gentle boil (take care that it doesn't boil over) until sauce has reduced by about half in volume. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Return shrimp and vegetable mixture to skillet and heat through.
Meanwhile cook fettuccine in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but firm. Drain well. Return to pot. Toss with shrimp and vegetable mixture and sprinkle with parsley. Divide among warm pasta bowls or plates and serve immediately.