Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Feast of One Fish, Part Deux

If your Christmas Eve celebration is small, and you're looking for something with Italian flare, this dish is it. I made this dish last year in the days leading up to Christmas. This one is more traditional that the cioppino because it does not have meat. (We do not eat meat on Christmas Eve, although pepperoni and salami have both found their way to the antipasto platters.)

This dish had base flavor of sweetness from the tomatoes and cream, but with a hint of heat from the red pepper flakes. The penne was a nice switch from the traditional spaghetti of our Christmas Eve feasts.

This meal is a great way to honor Italian Christmas traditions, but it's wonderful year-round, too.

Penne with Shrimp and Herbed Cream Sauce
Recipe from Giada DeLaurentiis
Makes 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 lb. penne pasta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1 15 oz. can whole tomatoes, drained, roughly dropped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leat parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup clam juice
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Cooking, stirring frequently until the shrimp turn pink and is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp and set aside.
  3. Add tomatoes, 1/4 cup basil, 1/4 cup parsley, and the red pepper flakes. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the wine, clam juice, and heavy cream. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 7 to 8 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add 1/4 cup Parmesan, the cooked shrimp, the cooked pasta, and the remaining herbs. Toss together until all ingredients are coated. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  4. Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and serve immediately.

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