Creamy Shrimp and Mushroom Pasta

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound shrimp without shells, deveined
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • dried basil
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • paprika
  • 8 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 3/4 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz fettuccine pasta

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat a large skillet. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and immediately add garlic and shrimp, cook on one side for about 1 minute until pink on one side, on medium-high heat. Flip the shrimp to the other side, sprinkle the top of cooked side of shrimp with dry basil, paprika, and salt, cook for another 1-2 minutes, occasionally stirring, until shrimp is pink on both sides. Remove the shrimp from skillet. If shrimp is a little undercooked – it’s OK because you will continue cooking it in the sauce.
  2. To the same skillet, add sliced mushrooms. Add more olive oil if necessary. Cook on high heat for about 2 minutes, occasionally stirring, until mushrooms become soft and release juices. Salt midway through cooking.
  3. To the skillet with mushrooms, add cooked shrimp. Immediately add 1 cup half and half and all of the cheese. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer, and cook, constantly stirring, until all cheese melt. Cover with lid and remove from heat.
  4. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water. Add pasta to the skillet with shrimp and mushrooms and cream sauce. Stir well, season with more salt and add more crushed red pepper flakes and basil, if desired.
  5. If the cream sauce is too thick and you want it creamier,  add some pasta water in small amounts until you reach desired consistency.

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NOTES

Before you start cooking, note that the original recipe is for EIGHT oz (HALF a typical box of pasta). A typical package of pasta comes with 16 oz pasta, so I had to doubled this recipe in order to accommodate the fact that I had already started cooking the entire box of pasta. You can use any type of pasta – I used Campanelle. I skipped the paprika and red pepper flakes because I didn’t want that extra heat. I also didn’t have half and half at the time, so I substituted about 1 tablespoon of butter combined with enough milk to equal one cup, as suggested through online resources. I used medium shrimp that were already cooked, so it saved me some time. I had some leftover pearl onions that I added, but this extra crunch was too much – don’t add it. If you want, you can try adding some caramelized onions instead. I recommend adding some type of veggie for that extra pop of color and to make this healthier – I used broccoli. Overall, this is a good recipe. It’s not too heavy. I only wish I had paid more attention and realized the need to double the recipe PRIOR to cooking – oops!

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