Shrimp and Pasta
A lot of shrimp and pasta recipes are quite similar, made with Italian herbs and seasonings, but this one is different because we are using Creole flavors to make it. First we are combining the typical ‘Creole trinity’ of flavors: celery, onion and bell pepper. Then we are adding chili powder, tomato sauce, chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and more for a full flavor.
If you want to swap the chicken broth for another kind, like vegetable broth or mushroom broth, go ahead. You can also make other tweaks. If you do not have tomato sauce, try cream of celery soup or cream of mushroom soup. Go ahead and use what you have. The long, slow cooking will ensure the sauce is tasty, thick and delicious. We are adding the shrimp near the end of the cooking time because they do not take long to cook.
Something you might like to do instead is add the shrimp to the pasta a couple of minutes before the end of the cooking time, then toss the drained pasta and shrimp with the sauce from the crockpot. Alternatively you can serve the shrimp sauce over the pasta, as you prefer (the second way looks more elegant). Cook the sauce in your crockpot for 3 hours on high or, if you are going to out of the house for longer, you can cook it for 5 or 6 hours on low instead, to mellow and blend all those delicious flavors. This recipe would also work with chicken or even vegetables instead of the shrimp, or try chopped fish filets instead. Continue reading
This easy recipe makes an elegant meal for 6 people if there is a side dish or 2 alongside, or 4 very hungry ones. You will need a package of jumbo pasta shells and some typical Italian ingredients to make your filling. There are 12 jumbo pasta shells in a package, and those will need to be cooked and then drained and allowed to cool, before you can fill them and finish them off in the oven.
For our filling, we are using onion, garlic, eggs, cheese, and spinach. These ingredients combine and then go into the pasta shells, and then you can bake them in the oven on a bed of pasta sauce. Use alfredo sauce if you want, but a classic tomato sauce is also nice. Some people like to spoon some of the sauce over the shells too, so you can do this if you wish. Press a medium (or large) shrimp into each one and add a little more cheese.
These are very attractive and they are delicious served with a hearty green salad. If you usually cook your pasta and then stir it into a sauce, this will make an interesting change, because of course the cheese, spinach and shrimp filling goes inside the pasta shell rather than being the sauce which coats the pasta. Feel free to omit the shrimp if you want, or add something else to the recipe. You might like to incorporate some sliced black or green olives into the cheese mixture, or even add some chili powder to the mix to give it a bit of a kick. Continue reading
This is an elegant, gourmet dish which is surprisingly easy to prepare. Using fresh mussels (and fresh shrimp if possible) adds to the gourmet style of this meal, and you can have it on the table in as few as 35 minutes from start to finish. The key to speedy preparation is cooking the spaghetti at the same time you cook the onion and garlic.
Have the mussels soaking in cold water at the same time, and you will be able to add them as soon as the onion and garlic are soft, along with the other ingredients in the dish. Fresh mussels are always special and they are incredibly easy to prepare as well. Simply soak them in cold water for 20 minutes to expel any grit, then add them to a pan and let them steam. The heat will cook them and the shells will open, so you can see when they are done.
Leave the tails on the shrimp if you like, or remove them if you prefer. As well as the spaghetti and seafood, we are using onion, garlic, lemon, and white wine, all of which are wonderful flavors to pair with seafood. Throw in some parsley and serve parmesan (freshly grated of course!) on the side, and you will have all the wonderful flavors you need. Some people like to serve garlic bread on the side while others prefer a light side dish, perhaps some tossed baby salad leaves with vinaigrette or even steamed asparagus tips with a little melted butter. Continue reading
This might just be the best shrimp scampi recipe ever. This is a great family-style meal, thanks to the decadent cream sauce, the chewy comfort of the pasta, and the wonderfully aromatic flavors. Serve this alone or with a garden salad. The penne is cooked and drained, and then added to the creamy shrimp mixture.
This recipe features heavy cream and butter, so it is not a diet recipe by any means, but as long as you combine it with healthy side dishes like a green or garden salad, or perhaps some broccoli or string beans, you have the makings of a balanced meal. Something else you could do to give this a more Mediterranean flavor is add half a can of chopped tomatoes or a little tomato juice. That would tint the sauce pink.
Use any kind of wine in this dish – something bone dry like a sauvignon blanc would work, as would something a bit creamier such as a Napa Valley chardonnay. Increase the amount of garlic if you want to. Two cloves is quite modest, unless they are jumbo-sized ones, so throw some more in if you enjoy the taste. The sharpness of the cheddar cuts through the sauce, giving the creaminess some character instead of just being creamy for the sake of it. You could try mozzarella if you prefer that to cheddar, or even some parmesan. Continue reading
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