Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Shrimp and Pasta with Creole Cream Sauce

There is nothing more satisfying and comforting to me than a plate of pasta. After a week-long binge of holiday finger foods, I needed pasta!!! And, not just a plate of spaghetti from a jar. No, I wanted something different, something new, something rich and creamy with a big kick of flavor. If there's some shrimp in it, then even better. So, I found it! The recipe that would take me back into the kitchen and make those little smokies a distant memory for me. This is from Southern Living's 1001 Ways to Cook Southern, copyright 2010.

Shrimp and Pasta with Creole Cream Sauce

1-1/2 lbs. unpeeled, medium-size raw shrimp
2 tsp. Creole seasoning
12 oz. uncooked penne pasta
2 tbsp. butter
4 green onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 cups whipping cream
1 tsp. hot sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup (2 oz.) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Peel shrimp, and devein, if desired. Toss shrimp with Creole seasoning; set aside. Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain. Keep warm.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add shrimp, and cook, stirring constantly, five minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Remove shrimp from skillet. Add green onions and garlic to skillet; saute 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Reduce heat to medium; stir in cream and hot sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, stirring constantly, 8 to 10 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in shrimp and parsley. Toss with pasta. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Serve immediately.

Unfortunately, the seafood store was out of medium shrimp this afternoon so I had to buy large. This is a little over one pound of large shrimp. I did devein them. I know I'm weird, but I like to devein shrimp. Strange...

I used this Creole seasoning. I actually did not have any Creole seasoning in my cupboard so had to buy some. But, I really liked the flavor of this one.

Sprinkle shrimp with 2 tsp. of Creole seasoning and set aside while preparing your veggies.

Four, maybe five green onions

And, this little clove of garlic was riding piggy-back on the large one so he's just a little bonus.

Already looking like a dish that's right up my alley.

I got the parsley ready, too.

And, I need to get the penne boiling, too.

Finally, it's time to cook. Melt two tablespoons of butter in a skillet.

Cook the shrimp in the melted butter for about five minutes. They'll curl up and turn pinkish-orange.

Yummy! Maybe I'll just stop at this point and start eating. But, I've invested too much effort in chopping those veggies so I'll guess I'll keep going. Remove the shrimp from the skillet and set aside while you prepare the sauce. You don't want to overcook your shrimp. They'll have the texture of a rubber band.

At this point, I had to add another tablespoon of butter. My skillet was too dry to cook the onions and garlic without burning. You can decide how much fat you have left to cook your veggies. I think a little olive oil would have worked well, too. I cooked these for a few minutes until they were soft.

I added the cream and hot sauce and cooked on medium-low for about ten minutes until the sauce thickened.

I returned the shrimp and the juice drippings back into the skillet.

There's the parsley livening up the place.

And, finally, the cooked drained pasta was added and everything was mixed together. Another confession, my husband and I do not eat Parmesan cheese sprinkled on pasta. We only eat it cold on Caesar salad so I didn't include it here. But, if you're a cheese lover, you'll want to add it now.

This dish was everything I dreamed about and more. After tasting it, I did go back and sprinkle a little extra Creole seasoning on top and that made it perfect for my taste buds. This is the perfect dish for a romantic dinner for two. I ate mine alone with the sound of a video game blasting in the background. Kids?!?


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