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Shrimp Penne Pasta

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Hello beautiful people!

Thank you for making your way to our recipe for Shrimp Penne Pasta. We hope you enjoyed watching the video.

This is such and easy recipe to put together regardless of your cooking skill level. I am very confident anyone can whip this recipe together so give it a try. If you happen to be more of a savvy cook then feel free to enhance this recipe and put your own twist. Sometimes I add more vegetables to it such as – chopped yellow squash and/or green peas. Besides making the dish healthier it also gives it a pop of beautiful color.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb deveined shrimp, save shells and heads if possible
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan reggiano
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 16oz box of penne pasta
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • zest of half a lemon
  • salt and fresh grated pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chicken seasoning powder
  • 2 laurel leaves
  • fresh basil – optional

Start by peeling the shrimp. Save the shells by placing it in a small sauce pan. Pour filtered water enough to cover the shells. If you happen to save the shrimp heads too then include it in the pan along with the shells. Simmer for 10-15 minutes on medium high heat. We want to get all the flavor from the shells to create a shrimp stock for the sauce. Strain the shells and set aside 2-3 cups of stock.

Start prepping the other ingredients. Finely chop the fresh garlic cloves and chop the spinach as well. Zest 1/2 a lemon and set aside.

Prepare two large pots. Fill one with water with enough room to boil the penne. Turn on high heat and add salt generously and a splash of olive oil. Wait for it to boil before putting the penne pasta in. Remember to half cook the penne. We want the penne to fully cook in the pasta sauce.

Melt butter in the other large pot and a splash of olive oil in medium to high heat. The oil will keep the butter from burning too quickly. Sauté the garlic until slightly golden (not brown.) Add the shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. Make sure to half cook the shrimp meaning it would still be partly pink around 5-6 minutes. Set shrimp aside in a bowl.

In the same pot we used for the shrimp and garlic sauté – add another tablespoon of butter. Pour the all purpose flour and mix well until it forms a thick paste. Add anywhere from 2-3 cups of shrimp stock and the heavy cream. Use a whisk and vigorously incorporate the thick flour paste into the cream and stock.

Lower heat to medium low and add the seasonings: salt, pepper, laurel leaves, chicken powder, 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan and the lemon zest. Turn heat to medium high and let it boil. Once it boils lower to simmer and stir every so often to make sure a crust doesn’t form on the bottom of the pan. Our goal is to slightly thicken the sauce. Do not worry if the sauce does not thicken completely because all this sauce will eventually be absorbed by the pasta in the latter steps.

Return the half cooked shrimp into the pot with the cream sauce and add the chopped spinach. Make sure flame is at medium and simmer for 8 minutes or so.

At this point transfer the half cooked penne pasta in the cream sauce with the shrimp and spinach. The key is to bring the penne to al dente in the cream sauce to maximize flavor absorption.

With the flame on low cover the pot with the lid. Make sure to check in every 3 minutes or so and stir so a crust on bottom of pot won’t form. You’ll notice that the penne is absorbing the sauce. Go ahead and try the penne and when it is al dente (meaning mid way between still chewy and soft) it is time to serve.

Finish with a sprinkling of fresh grated Parmesan and optional – sprinkle with basil chiffonade.

This recipe keeps well in the fridge for 2 days in a clean sealed glass container. The leftovers the next two days will be excellent.