December 9, 2008

Giada's Pasta with Shrimp and Herbed Cream Sauce

Maybe the thing I love the most about going to the gym is the fact that on each elliptical trainer there is an individual TV screen that allows me to watch cable television. (I don't have a TV, so it's sort of a big deal.) The only thing that is exciting about that is, of course, The Food Network. I'm in love with a number of their shows. I also hate a few of them, including Paula Deen's ridiculously gross and fattening show (whatever it's called), and Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee. (I find her "tablescapes" particularly annoying.

I do enjoy a good Iron Chef episode, a little Rachel Ray from time to time and even The Ace of Cakes. Recently, I've been paying more attention to The Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten) and some show with a guy named Guy. But, the show that really captures my attention is Everyday Italian with Giada De Laurentiis. Or maybe it's the cleavage that gets my attention, I don't know.

On Monday, I saw an episode of Giada at Home in which she made a shrimp pasta with an herbed cream sauce. I wanted to make it. So, I did. I liked it and so I am posting it here. I halved her recipe (which fed two people generously) and cut a few corners...

  • 1/2 pound penne pasta (I use whole wheat, because why not?)
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 pound medium, peeled, and deveined shrimp (I used pre-cooked from the butcher counter at Safeway-- only $3.50 at $6.99 a pound)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (I keep Trader Joe's in my fridge, because I don't have time for chopping garlic)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (I didn't really measure)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (Again, to taste. Why measure?)
  • 1 /2 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (In the summer I'd have fresh, but I just added a little dried basil this time)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (99 cents at Safeway)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/6 cup clam juice
  • 3/8 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  1. Boil your pasta until it's al dente, then drain and set aside. I did this concurrently with the rest of the cooking.
  2. Heat a large skillet with the olive oil on medium-high. Add the shrimp, garlic, salt and pepper. Giada says to cook the shrimp for about 3 minutes until they are pink and done, but mine were pre-cooked, so I just pan fried them for a quick second until they were coated with garlic.
  3. With a slotted spoon, fish out the shrimp and set aside.
  4. Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley and red pepper flakes to your hot pan. (I put a little dried oregano, too.) Cook for 2 minutes, stiring constantly. Throw in your wine, clam juice and the heavy cream. Let the mixture boil, then turn down to a medium-low simmer. Cook 7-8 minutes, until the sauce thickens up nicely.
  5. Add your cooked pasta to the pan. Then add the grated parmesan cheese. Though she didn't do it in this recipe, Giada says that adding the pasta then the cheese allows the cheese to melt/stick to the pasta, which then helps the sauce stick to the pasta. I think that's a good idea, so I used that method in this recipe, even though she didn't.
  6. Add the shrimp to the pan and stir to coat. You may want to add more salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Sprinkle with more grated parmesan cheese and serve immediately!


  1. 3/8 of a cup? is that like... one and a half of 1/4 of a cup measurements? gosh i need to take a math class...

  2. Well, the original was 3/4, half of that is 3/8... I know it's not pretty! So, yeah, I did one and a half of my 1/4 cup. POST A RECIPE!


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