Thursday, April 19, 2012

Penne with Shrimp and Herbed Cream Sauce

It seems like ages since I've posted.  I'm in a busy season at work, so I'm cooking special dishes notably less....and posting about dished even lesser.  On Sunday, I decided to make a special meal.  This came from Giada De Laurentiis' book, Giada's Kitchen.  The prep is a little involved (deveining shrimp is not hard, but it's kind of time consuming), but the actual cooking steps are quick and simple.  The result is a tangy sauce with just hint of spice from the pepper flake; an excellent dish for cooler weather and impressive for a dinner party.  Pour yourself a glass of leftover white wine and manja!  This one comes highly recommended from Mike (my toughest critic).

1 pound penne pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup bottled clam juice
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Note: Use Kitchen Shears for a quick and easy way to chop canned tomatoes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes.  Drain the pasta and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the shrimp, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp turn pink and are cooked through, about 3 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.

Add the tomatoes, 1/4 cup of the basil, 1/4 cup of the parsley, and the red pepper flakes to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the wine and simmer for another 2 minutes.  Add the clam juice and cream.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 7 to 8 minutes until sauce thickens.

Add 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, the cooked shrimp, the drained pasta, and the remaining basil and parsley.  Toss together until all ingredients are coated with the sauce.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl.  Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve immediately.

Makes 4-6 servings

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