Monday, February 20, 2012

February Secret Recipe Club: Shrimp Penne with Creamy Garlic Sauce

After a month-long hiatus, one of my favorite blogger events is finally back: Secret Recipe Club!! Each month, each of us is given a blog to secretly visit and feature a recipe from. Then, on Reveal Day, we all share our posts. It's so much fun to finally get to introduce yourself to the blogger who you've gotten to know...AND it's great fun to see who had your blog and what dish they chose!! My blog this month was Julie's Eats & Treats. Her tag line is "Simple, Easy but Delicious Food!" Her recipes are easy to make...and they are truly delish. Stop by and give her some love. The recipe that I chose was her Shrimp Penne with Garlic Sauce

I had some lovely jumbo shrimp in the freezer...and penne in the, I knew this was the perfect recipe for me to feature! Who doesn't love pasta and shrimp with a lovely creamy sauce? I made a few adjustments to suit our tastes, but stayed true to her original recipe. I added shallot, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and green onions to the sauce...and I subbed in half and half for evaporated milk since I had that on hand. The only other adjustment I made was to sear the shrimp in a separate pan and serve them on top of the pasta rather than mixing them in. They were huge shrimp, so I wanted them to be front and center when I served the pasta!

Shrimp Penne with Creamy Garlic Sauce
adapted from Julie's Eats & Treats

Step 1:  Peel and devein 1 lb. jumbo shrimp and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with seafood seasoning and put in the fridge while you make the rest of the recipe. Next, bring a pot of salted water to boil; add 8 ounces of penne pasta and cook per package directions. While the pasta cooks, make the creamy garlic sauce.

Step 2:  Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 finely chopped shallot, 2 grated (or minced) garlic cloves, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, until the garlic and shallot are tender. Add 1/4 cup flour to the pan and whisk to combine; cook for 1-2 minutes. Add 1 3/4 cup chicken stock and 1/2 cup half and half. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let the sauce cook until thickened...about 2-3 minutes.

Step 3:  Add 2/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese, the zest of one lemon, and 1 tbs. seafood seasoning to the sauce and stir to combine. I used Chef Paul Prudhomme's Seafood Magic. When the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the pan. Give a quick stir to combine and add 2 sliced green onions and 2 tbs. chopped parsley. Stir well to combine; turn off heat.

Step 4:  Melt 2 tbs. butter in a non-stick skillet over med-high heat. Add the reserved spiced shrimp to the pan in one layer, and sear on both sides. This will take about 2-3 minutes per side, depending on the size of your shrimp. To serve, spoon some of the creamy pasta into bowls. Top each serving with several seared shrimp and additional lemon zest and parmesan cheese.

This pasta is fabulous! The sauce is creamy and full of flavor...a bit reminiscent of alfredo. The sweet shrimp cut a bit of the richness, and the parsley-green onion combo gives it a nice pop of green color. We enjoyed the addition of lemon brightened up the flavor and is a natural pairing with seafood. I served Julie's delicious pasta dish with the Tomato-Pesto Pinwheels that I featured over the weekend. You could also add a green salad, but I wanted to save all my room for the pinwheels and pasta this time!!


  1. Great choice! The flavors sound amazing together.

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