Creamy Shrimp & Tomato Pasta

Usually I try to stick to an easy menu for my family. We have dozens of tried and true recipes that I generally rotate through each week, the kind of meals I could make in my sleep because we have had them so many times over the years. A nice way to describe them is ‘Oldies but goodies’. But I had a craving this weekend for something new….different from our usual repertoire of meals. I wanted something that would look and taste like something you’d find at a 5 star restaurant, but with a budget of take out (is that so much to ask?). Now, what can I work with that is inexpensive but can really step up my dinner game? Shrimp. Even better than just shrimp, is shrimp and bowtie pasta covered in a creamy tomato-ey sauce (tomato-ey is totally a word. I am declaring it as of now). Bonus, most of the ingredients I already had on hand, I just had to buy the shrimp! Done and done.

Here’s what you will need:
*shrimp (I bought the pre-cooked, but you can absolutely use raw)
*Vegetable broth (if you’re using raw)
*1 can petite diced tomatoes
*1 box farfalle pasta
*half an onion, diced
*1/2 C heavy cream
*1 tsp minced garlic
*1/2 C shredded parmesan (plus more for garnish)
*Salt and pepper
*fresh parsley (for garnish…unless you forget to buy it like I did)

First, prepare your farfalle (bowties) according to package directions. I like to do this first so the noodles will be done cooking at the same time as my shrimp sauce.

Toss a couple TBSP of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add your onion and cook until tender and translucent.

Once tender, add your minced garlic and give it a good stir. Cook for another 1-2 minutes (reducing the heat if you need to) until the garlic is fragrant. It can burn easily so watch it….as you can see, I let mine get a little dark. Still totally edible, just not as pretty for blog post pictures!

Now add your shrimp. Mine was thawed pre-cooked shrimp, so they really just needed to heat through. If you are using raw shrimp, be sure you cook them until they are pink on both sides.

If you are using precooked shrimp like me, you may notice a lot of water and juices released into the pan. This is great! If you use raw shrimp, or you don’t have this shrimp-juice goodness (I know that doesn’t sound good…shrimp juiceshutter) then you will want to add about 1/2 C of your veggie stock. Reduce the heat to medium low.

Open your can of petite diced tomatoes and drain them. I just put them in my colander and give them a good stir.

Add your tomatoes to the shrimp mixture and stir to combine.

Add your 1/2 C of heavy cream and turn your heat up to medium. Continue to stir as the sauce thickens up.

Once your sauce has thickened to where it coats the back of a spoon, add 1/2 C of your shredded parmesan. Stir until the cheese is completely incorporated in your sauce. Add your cooked and drained pasta to the skillet and mix well, coating each farfalle with the creamy sauce.

Serve the pasta with an extra sprinkle of parmesan and fresh parsley (unless you forget your list in the car like I did). I’m telling you, this recipe is so good and easy! Easy enough for an every day dinner, but looks and tastes like a splurge.

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