Penne w/Shrimp & Herbed Cream Sauce

Happy Saturday everyone! I love lazy Saturdays – lots of time for watching college football and baking makes me a happy girl. You know what else makes me happy? Writing this post on my MacBook – it’s back in my possession and working! I posted about the death of my MacBook the other day and I was pretty bummed. Fortunately, Shane’s cousin Kieran hooked me up with the name of a local repair shop. They diagnosed the problem in no time: a dead hard drive. On the plus side, the repairs were much cheaper than I’d expected. They were not, however, able to migrate the data from my old hard drive onto my new one and, like a fool, I hadn’t backed up my data in ages. I wasn’t too upset about what I lost but I’ve learned my lesson and will be backing up much more frequently!

Penne w/Shrimp & Herbed Cream Sauce

Anyway, enough about my computer. Let’s talk about this wonderful pasta dish! If you’re looking for comfort food or a simple, elegant dish to serve company, this is a great option! It’s also really adaptable. I subbed chicken stock for the white wine and dry herbs for the fresh. The recipe can be put together fairly quickly once you get the ingredients prepped and especially if you let the pasta cook while you cook the shrimp and make the sauce. The sauce includes a decent amount of cheese and cream so it’s not terribly healthy but definitely worthy of an occasional splurge. The dish was a huge hit here and was even great reheated the next day for lunch!

Penne with Shrimp & Herbed Cream Sauce
from Giada’s Kitchen: New Italian Favorites, by Giada de Laurentiis

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

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.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until the shrimp turn pink and is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp and set aside.

Add the tomatoes, 1/4 cup basil, 1/4 cup parsley, and the red pepper flakes. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the wine and simmer for another 2 minutes. Add the clam juice and heavy cream. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 7 to 8 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add 1/4 cup of the 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.

Sprinkle the pasta with the remaining cheese before serving.