seafood pasta

Shrimp Penne

I’m a huge fan of seafood.  I also live stupidly far inland to get really good, fresh seafood as often as I’d like.   There’s a company that brings fresh seafood up from the coast on the weekends, but I have to drive 80 miles one-way to get to them, and it’s only on the weekends.

So I’ve tried grocery store frozen (and “fresh”) seafood and usually I’m left thinking that is just okay at best.   However, I have finally found a brand of frozen shrimp I can get locally on occcasion that is pretty good.  It actually tastes like shrimp!   (It’s Ocean Gift, and I am not being paid to share that.)

What to do with this tasty shrimp?  I was feeling the need for some pasta and came across an inspiration from a Taste of Home recipe, combined with a little of my own twist.   And of course, it was about half the recipe.   Warning: if you’re on a diet, this isn’t really low-cal, but it is really good!  Again I know the lack of photos is disappointing, but I can assure you the recipe won’t disappoint a bit.

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked penne pasta (or similar size pasta, something that can handle a hefty sauce)
8 – 10 oz uncooked medium shrimp
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 -2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup marinara sauce (make your own or a good store-bought)
6 tbsp butter
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
16 oz heavy cream (you can use half-and-half, or cut the calories by using half skim milk and half cream)
Pinch of salt
Two pinches of fresh pepper (to taste)
Fresh Parsley (optional)

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the heavy cream over low – medium heat in a sauce pan.   Add 4 tbsp of butter and gently whisk as it melts.   Stir in the Parmesan cheese until smooth.   Season with fresh pepper, to taste.   Set aside on very low heat, just to keep it warm.

In a large skillet,  saute the shrimp, garlic, and pepper flakes in oil until the shrimp turn pink.   Add the cream sauce from the sauce pan, the marianra sauce, the remaining two tbsp of butter, salt, and pepper to the shrimp and stir to combine.

Drain the pasta and serve with the shrimp mixture.  Top it with fresh parsley if you’re feeling fancy, just like parsley, or have an herb garden overflow that needs to be used up.

There’s a few really great things about this recipe.   It’s easy to double or triple this recipe to make it work well for serving 6 to 8.    Add a salad and fresh bread and you’ve got a very nice dinner.    Don’t like your dinner coming from the ocean floor?   Replace the shrimp with chicken.   If you’re in a real rush, you can even skip the homemade Alfredo (the cream sauce bit) and swap in about 5 oz of store-bought Alfredo.  Homemade Alfredo is so simple and tastes so much better, I think it’s worth the extra five minutes of prep time.  Also you can adjust the creamy / tomato-y ratio easily on this by simply using more or less of either ingredient.   There is so much room to play with this recipe to make it fit your tastes exactly.  It’s very good as it is too, fresh off the computer screen!