Some Friday nights when we feel like indulging in a nice meal, but don’t want to spend a lot of money at a restaurant, we’ll create a fancy date night in. A few weeks back I picked up some fresh ingredients from my favorite local market, Zupan’s, and got right to work on an Italian dish I’ve had my heart set on re-creating for quite some time. I lit some candles, put on some music, poured my favorite wine and enjoyed a delicious date-night dinner with Luke.
Pasta with Shrimp and Herbed Cream Sauce
1 pound pasta (I used fresh tagliatelle pasta)
2 tablespoons 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-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained, roughly chopped (I used San Marzano tomatoes)
1 pound asparagus, roughly chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup white wine
1/3 cup chicken stock
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook for approximately 3-4 minutes (if using fresh pasta) If using boxed pasta, cook for 8-10 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, chicken stock, 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. While the sauce thickens, blanch the asparagus and add to the mixture. 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 with salt and pepper as needed.
Top with the remaining cheese and serve immediately.
(Adapted from Giada’s recipe which can be found here)