Creamy Shrimp Orecchiette

This recipe is the chorus to my summer seafood song. As mentioned in my previous post I am dedicating this week to light seafood recipes that are match worthy for this season. It wouldn’t be right if shrimp didn’t make the cut. It probably will make it in several posts this week because of its versatility in recipes. This post is as much about ears as it is shrimp. Not your ears or mine but Orecchiette; the whimsical little ears of pasta. Thank you Southern Italy for such a playful pasta. In Italian orecchia– means ear, and –etta means small.

I initially came up with this recipe specifically for Mother’s Day. I loved the idea of the ear shaped pasta being on the menu because it made me think of how many mothers all over planet Earth have exclaimed to their children, “Are you listening to me?!” This dish was served with purposeful loving humor and also a sauce in each bite courtesy of the pasta’s shape. If a dish could say, “Are you listening?” this would be it. The sweetness of the snow peas, the light creamy sauce, and the savoriness of the shrimp create a charming home cooked meal.

Ingredients:

  • Orecchiette (12 oz.)
  • Heavy Cream (2 cups)
  • Vegetable Broth (1/2 cup)
  • Parmesan (1 cup, shredded)
  • Garlic ( 3 cloves, minced)
  • Butter (2 tablespoons)
  • Shrimp (1 pound)
  • Snow Peas (1 cup)
  • Green Peas (1 cup)
  • Cherry Tomatoes (1 cup, halved)
  • Fennel (2 tablespoons, for garnish)
  • Parsley (2 tablespoons, for garnish)
  • Basil (1 tablespoon)
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (2 teaspoons)
  • Salt (to taste)

Instructions:

  1. Cook orecchiette until al dente and set aside. (You can follow pasta box instructions.You want to maintain the firmness of the pasta as it will cook more when added to the sauce.)
  2. Season shrimp with salt, basil, and crushed red pepper.
  3. In a large sauce pan saute shrimp with butter and garlic for 2 minutes per side.
  4. Stir in heavy cream, vegetable broth, Parmesan, tomatoes, and peas.
  5. Cover and let simmer for 3 minutes.
  6. Gently add al dente oriecchiette to simmering sauce pan and remove from heat.
  7. Garnish with fennel, parsley, more crushed red pepper, parmesan if desired and serve.

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