Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cooking with My Sister...Tina's Sausage-Shrimp Alfredo Pasta

I may be the one with a food blog, but my sister Tina is a fantastic cook. She lives in Ohio, I live in we don't get to see each other very often. Food and cooking is a shared bond between us...a major topic of discussion of every phone call and visit. We compare recipes and new food a way that only two foodies who grew up together can. When we get a chance to get into the kitchen together, we jump at the opportunity! She and her kids spent a couple of days hanging out with us earlier this week, so we agreed to cook a big dinner on Sunday night.

Tina and I went where our culinary imaginations took us, and what we ended up with was pretty spectacular: orecchiette with sausage, shrimp, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and an easy homemade alfredo sauce. If you've never made alfredo from scratch, it's so simple...and so much better than anything you can buy in a jar! We paired the pasta with garlic bread and salad for a relaxing Sunday dinner that received thumbs up from everybody dining at Casa Garcia that night!

Tina's Sausage-Shrimp Alfredo Pasta
A Weekend Gourmet-Tina Page Production

Step 1:  Cook a 16-ounce package of orecchiette in salted water. While the pasta cooks, prepare the sauce. Add 1 stick butter and 3/4 lb. bulk sausage to a skillet with high sides. Cook over medium-high heat until the butter is melted and the sausage is cooked, breaking the sausage into bite-sized pieces. We bought two fresh sausages and removed them from the casings.

Step 2:  When the sausage is mostly cooked, add the following ingredients to the pan: 1/2 lb. shrimp diced into bite-sized pieces, 4-5 cloves grated garlic, and 1/3 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes. Stir to combine and cook until the shrimp are pink. Then, add 1 cup heavy cream and 1 cup parmesan reggiano. Stir until the cheese melts into the cream, creating a velvety sauce.

Step 3: Drain the cooked orecchiette and add to the skillet, along with two sliced green onions. Stir well to evenly combine all ingredients and add salt & pepper to taste. Lower heat to med-low and simmer for about 5 minutes. The sauce will look thin at first, but the starch from the pasta will help it thicken up very nicely. To serve, spoon into bowls and served additional parmesan and chopped parsley on the side.

This pasta was so good: rich, creamy, and full of flavor! The shrimp and sausage complimented each other nicely, and the sun-dried tomatoes brought a nice tangy-sweet flavor...we agreed that next time, we would add 1/2 cup of the tomatoes since we enjoyed their flavor so much! If you've never cooked with orecchiette before, please do. They form little cups as they cook, which are PERFECT for capturing small pieces of your ingredients. The only thing better than eating this pasta was spending time with my sister in the kitchen as it cooked! 


  1. This looks like an awesome recipe. We don't care for shrimp, do you think if I omitted the shrimp I would need to make any other adjustments to the other ingredients?

    1. could add a third sausage, or even 1/2 lb. of diced chicken tenders instead. It is a flexible recipe!

  2. i'm such a pasta junkie, so this sounds absolutely wonderful to me. great recipe wendy + tina!

    1. It was just something off the top of our heads...we collaborated, but Tina did the actual cooking! This is comforting and not terribly heavy.

  3. Wow, I just love this orecchiette with the white rich sauce, the sun-dried tomatoes, the combo of the sausage and, I'm so hungry, and its time for late!
    Thanks for sharing your sister's recipe. BTW-I'm also originally from Ohio, with my sister living there, as well!


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