Vermicelloni with Brown Shrimps and Samphire

Image of vermicelloni with brown shrimps and samphire

I was loitering with intent at our local fish van the other day and as usual I couldn’t decide what to buy, so I bought nearly everything. Mummery Brothers hail from Lowestoft and they make regular visits to Diss, just over the Norfolk border from us, with an excellent selection of gleaming fresh fish.

Among my haul (pun intended) was a tray of tiny, tasty brown shrimps and a bag of locally-picked sampshire. I wanted to cook them with pasta so I adapted a Theo Randall recipe from the Huffington Post.

Him Outdoors is definitely not a pasta fan but even he had to admit it was good: a gentle but flavourful dish. Because I’m not a complete sadist, I cooked it as a starter. Increase the proportions to taste if you’d like to eat it as a main course.

I used vermicelloni because I couldn’t source tagliarini: the recipe does require some sort of quite thin pasta. Samphire is salty so be cautious in adding extra – taste as you go. Make sure everything is prepped before you put the water on for the pasta because this is a very quick dish, equally at home as a midweek supper or a dinner party starter.

Vermicelloni with Brown Shrimps and Samphire

  • Servings: 2 as a generous starter
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Image of samphire and shrimps


125g vermicelloni or similar

80g samphire, well rinsed and picked over

100g peeled, cooked brown shrimps

1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely sliced

1 tspn chopped fresh parsley

50g unsalted butter

A squeeze of lemon, to serve


In a large pot of boiling salted water cook the pasta until it is al dente. Throw in the samphire for the last 1-2 minutes.

Heat the butter in a frying pan and add the garlic and parsley. Cook for one minute then add the shrimps.

Drain the vermicelloni and samphire thoroughly but retain a few tablespoons of the pasta cooking water. Empty the pasta and samphire into the pan with the shrimps and toss well, adding a little of the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce. Check the seasoning and serve with a wedge of lemon to squeeze over.

Image of vermicelloni with brown shrimps and samphire

4 thoughts on “Vermicelloni with Brown Shrimps and Samphire

    • I’m sorry! We could get it when we lived in London so tend to assume fishmongers stock it and it’s often sold in our local Morrisons but yup, seaside within reach once again. You could go back to the original recipe, which I linked to in the piece, and use courgettes. I don’t know about you but we have so many Him Outdoors is suggesting feeding them to the hens.

      • Not at the moment. You could send some here. I have to BUY my courgettes, and they’re nearly always too big. Our local Morrisons is the least exciting place on earth. Samphire? I don’t think so.

      • I would happily send courgette food parcels if you could provide an address! We pick ours quite small, partly for flavour and partly because they otherwise turn into blimps.

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