The Weekend Gourmet: Favorite Celebrity Chef #SundaySupper...Featuring Emeril's Shrimp Penne in Pesto Cream Sauce F

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Favorite Celebrity Chef #SundaySupper...Featuring Emeril's Shrimp Penne in Pesto Cream Sauce

Happy December, everyone! The theme for this week's #SundaySupper is Favorite Celebrity Chef, hosted by Tammi from Momma's Meals. I was so excited to take part this week, but it was really hard for me to pick one favorite chef to feature a recipe from. I adore so many chefs: Julia Child, Ina Garten, Tyler Florence, and Nigella Lawson...just to name a few. However, the one chef who most inspires me in my cooking is Emeril Lagasse: he has a big-flavor approach to cooking that I can really relate to, and I love how his passion for food and cooking shows through in his television appearance and cookbooks! Once I had my chef, it was time to pick a recipe.

I happened to have a pound of lovely jumbo shrimp and some of my favorite pesto from the local farmers market, so I knew I had found what I was looking for when I came across a recipe for Emeril's Shrimp with Linguine in a Pesto Cream Sauce. I made a few small tweaks, but stayed pretty true to the original recipe. I decided to use a high-fiber penne pasta in place of the linguine, and I used half-and-half in place of heavy cream. The only addition I made was a bit of chopped sun-dried tomato...for a bit of extra color, flavor and texture. This dish was pretty quick to make. While the pasta water boiled, I peeled the shrimp...and I made the sauce while the pasta cooked. 


 Shrimp Penne in Pesto Cream Sauce
adapted from Emeril Lagasse
Step 1: Bring a pot of salted water to boil. While the water comes to a boil, peel and devein 1 lb. of jumbo shrimp. Place the shrimp in a small bowl, and add 1 tbs. Emeril's Essence. Toss to evenly coat the shrimp with the spices, and set aside. When the water comes to a boil, add 8 ounces of penne and cook until al dente -- 10-12 minutes. While the penne cooks, make the sauce. Add 1 tbs. butter and 1 tbs. olive oil to a non-stick pan over med-high heat. Add the shrimp and sear for 2 minute per side.


Step 2: Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside. Add 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes, until they are lightly caramelized. Add 3 grated garlic cloves and cook until fragrant -- about 30 seconds. Add 3/4 cup half-and-half, 1/3 cup of your favorite pesto, an additional tablespoon of Essence, and salt to taste. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Boil until the sauce is reduced and thickened -- about 2 minutes.


Step 3: Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Turn the heat on the sauce to med-low. Add the pasta, 1/2 cup reserved cooking water, 1 tbs. finely chopped parsley, and 1/4 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes to the sauce. Toss with tongs to thoroughly coat the pasta with the sauce and let cook in the warm pan for 3-5 minutes. Place the penne on a serving platter and arrange the shrimp on top. Sprinkle with shredded parmesan just before serving.


This pasta is fabulous: the sauce is creamy, with a nice spicy kick from the Essence. The pesto provides a nutty-basil background flavor, and the sweet jumbo shrimp cuts through the richness of the sauce. This recipe is simple enough to make on a weeknight, but it's special enough to serve dinner guests. I tossed together a quick salad and heated up some store-bought garlic bread to serve on the side...and dinner was on the table in about 45 minutes.

Make sure to join us tonight at 600 CST for a Twitter chat to discuss our favorite celebrity chefs. In the meantime, make sure to go visit my fellow #SundaySupper food bloggers...you won't believe the wide variety of recipes they're sharing today!

Starters or Snacks :
The Main Dish:
Amazing Sides:
Sweet Endings:



24 comments:

  1. Shrimp and pesto is just divine! I have some homemade pesto in the freezer and I think this would be a great dish to use it with.

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    Replies
    1. I think you could up the pesto to 1/2 cup and really maximize the basil flavor!

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  2. Making this ASAP. My three favorite things shrimp, pesto and pasta. Wow I bet it is outstanding.

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    Replies
    1. It is outstanding...and all that Essence (or any Cajun/Creole seasoning) gives it a real kick!

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  3. Replies
    1. You could use smaller shrimp and toss them with the pasta...but I had some gorgeous jumbos that begged to be front and center on top!

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  4. Oh boy - this sounds like quite a wonderful meal, and you can't go wrong with Emeril!!! Thanks for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. It was really good...feel free to use linguini if you prefer long pasta. For ease of eating, penne worked really well!

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  5. Oh my, this looks incredible! I love everything about this!

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  6. OH Emeril, he has been a fav of mine forever. My daughter would sit in her swing chair and be completely enthralled with him when she was little!! Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe with us all!!

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  7. This sounds delicious. I love pesto (and have a bunch of homemade in the freezer from summer). This may be the perfect recipe to use it with.

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  8. I don't eat seafood, but honestly, I'm intrigued by shrimp, I really must make it for my husband some night soon, this looks fabulous and easy!

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  9. Love your modifications to the recipe. Looks delish!

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  10. Did you yell "bam!" while you were seasoning? Inquiring minds want to know!

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  11. Love Emeril and this looks so tasty! Definitely going to try it! Thanks for sharing!

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  12. Oh what a gorgeous and simple dish. I love the sauce.

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  13. I love pesto so much, it´s so versatile, especially with pasta. A gorgeous dish Wendy!

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  14. oh my gawd. This is my favorite kind of food. Pasta! I love it so much. I was wondering what was making the shrimp red in color but I see it was essence of Emeril. Makes sense now. I don't know why I didn't think Emeril's spice would not make it onto a Emeril dish. Silly me. seriously gorgeous dish.

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  15. Delish.... you know how I feel about Emeril... adding this to my must try list!!!!!

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  16. This sounds amazing! I must try this one.

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  17. oh my!! This Shrimp Penne looks soooo yummy!! I just pinned and will try! My daughter will love this! :)

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  18. Give me shrimp and pasta and I'm a happy girl!

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