Spicy Shrimp with Linguine

I have no idea how in the world this recipe found its way into Cooking Light, but it did, I swear.  I’m not going to lie, I consider this is a little on the indulgent side, especially for a Monday, but it was calling my name.  I had every intention of making this super-healthy shrimp dish from my friend Jen’s fantastic blog, using herbs from my garden, but when I got home tonight, I changed my mind and decided on something spicy and carby. 

I had found this recipe in June’s Cooking Light and had a xerox of it in my office (long story) and had everything at home to make it, including the shrimp.  We only had to substitute whole wheat penne for linguinne, but no love lost.  Carbs are carbs in this house.  We really enjoyed this dish and you can make it healthier by using olive oil instead of butter and probably (not totally sure about this) skim milk with a teapsoon of flour for thickening instead of cream.  But try this once the right way.  Then figure out how to cut it back.  🙂

Another bonus:  it was on the table in 20 minutes flat.  Serve with a green salad and maybe French bread to soak up the extra sauce?

Spicy Shrimp with Linguine (or whatever)

  • 8 ounces of uncooked linguine
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 lb peeled and deveined medium shrimp
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (with like Tony’s)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and keep warm.  In the bag that the shrimp came in, add the Cajun seasoning, red pepper and salt; shake well to coat the shrimp.

  Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion and saute about 3 minutes, until tender.  Add tomatoes and garlic, saute another 2 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic (might have to adjust the heat). 

Add shrimp to pan; saute for 5 minutes or until almost done.  You don’t want them opaque yet, but just about there.  Remove from heat and stir in cream.  Let sit for a minute or two, until the shrimp are done. Pour shrimp mixture over pasta, mix well.  Top with chopped parsley.

Cajun Shrimp Stir Fry

We really need to cook with shrimp more often.  They are super-healthy and cook in a flash.  And we both love shrimp.  The only drawback is that I’m picky about seafood and like my shrimp fresh.  And since I do all of my shopping for the week on Sundays, if we’re going to have shrimp, it’s going to be either Sunday night or Monday night at the latest.  I really wouldn’t let shrimp stay in the fridge longer than a day. 

But once you’ve committed to shrimp for dinner, this is a cinch and delicious.  Serve on top of cooked brown rice (use the instant kind for an even quicker meal.)

Cajun Shrimp Stir Fry

  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • few teaspoons cajun seasoning (your preference)
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced in vertical strips
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced in vertical strips
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • hot sauce to taste

Toss shrimp with cajun seasoning in the bag that the shrimp comes in and set aside.  Heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat and saute the peppers about 5-6 minutes, but not until they are totally tender yet.  Add the garlic, being sure to toss continously to keep the garlic from burning.

BEGINNERS TIP:  I use tongs to saute peppers and also to cook the shrimp.  It makes it easier to grab several and toss and turn.

shrimpies with seasoning in the bag

 Remove the peppers and garlic to a plate and set aside.  Return the pan to medium-high heat and add a 1/2 tbsp of more oil.  Add shrimp and cook 3 minutes, turning frequently.

BEGINNERS TIP:  cooking shrimp is delicate.  They cook fast, no more than 5 minutes total.  Just watch them closely and turn them as they start to turn opaque.  You don’t want them really pink, then they are over-done.  You really just want them opaque, as they will continue to cook in the hot pan, even after you’ve turned the heat off.

Add the wine, lemon juice, peppers/garlic back into the pan, mix with the shrimp and cook another 2 minutes, being sure not to over-cook the shrimp.

Serve with brown rice and hot sauce, if preferred.

Shrimp and Pesto Pasta

My sweet friend, Lindsay, made this dish for us one night last summer.  It was one of the first times I met her now-fiance and we had such great fellowship sitting outside on her patio and drinking wine well into the night.  We sort of made this up that night and since then, Frank and I have duplicated it many, many times.  It’s a simple, fast, healthy (if you use the reduced fat pesto) and filling dinner and it is also great for a dinner party because it can feed as many people as you want — just be sure to check for shrimp allergies/hatred.  If shrimp is a game-breaker, just substitute chicken.

Shrimp and Pesto Pasta

  • 1 lb of shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 box of Rotini pasta (the corkscrew kind)
  • 1 bushel asparagus
  • 1 tub of pesto (see below for tips)
  • 1/4 cup of shaved fresh parmesan
  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • Olive Oil
  • S&P

In the sack that the shrimp comes in, shake a healthy amount (maybe 2 tbsp) of Old Bay Seasoning and then shake and roll the bag around to coat the shrimp.  Move to a grill basket.  On a cookie sheet, roll asparagus in olive oil (maybe a tbsp) and S&P to taste. 

Grill the shrimp and asparagus.  Put the asparagus on first, it takes longer than the shrimp.  BEGINNERS TIP:  Shrimp are done when they are lightly pink and slightly opaque, no longer than 5 minutes, usually.  Take them off the heat as soon as you think they are ready and put them on a cold plate; otherwise, they will continue to cook on the hot grill pan and get too tough and overdone. 

While they grill, in a large dutch oven, cook the pasta according to box instructions, drain and put the pasta back into the pot.  While the pasta cooks, in a small saucepan, heat up the pesto on a very low setting.  When selecting your pesto, get the kind that is refridgerated, in a small tub (Bertolli is a good brand).  This section at the store is typically where they keep refridgerated pastas and cheeses.

When the aparagus is ready, move to a cutting board and chop the first 2/3 of the stalks into bite-size pieces.  Add to the pasta.  Add the shrimp as well, then using a spatula, add the pesto and mix well.  Add the cheeese and another dash of salt and mix again.

Serve immediately; preferably with a crisp white.  This dish is perfect for dining al fresco in the upcoming nice weather.  Enjoy!

Heirloom Tomato Pasta with Shrimp

This could could go one of two ways, but the good news is, you can’t go wrong.  Late August is the perfect time for savoring the sacred Southern tomato and this dish really lets them shine.  This is a simple, healthy and light pasta sauce, which you can either cook down into more of a sauce or cook quickly and make a bruschetta topping.  Either way, divine.  Even Frank liked it and he doesn’t love pasta or tomatoes.  Yay!

Heirloom Tomato and Herb Pasta


  • package of paparedelle or egg noodles
  • 3 large heirloom tomatoes, chopped into small pieces (different colors is ideal)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped finely
  • pinch of fresh oregano
  • pinch of fresh thyme (don’t overdo this one)
  • S&P
  • Pecorino cheese to taste
  • 3/4 lb shrimp

OK.  Cook the pasta according to directions, adding a dash of salt to the water.  In the meanwhile, start your sauce.  Heat up the oil over medium-high heat in a skillet and then saute the shallots for about 4 minutes, until soft but not burned.  Throw in your garlic and cook another 2 minutes.  Be careful not to scorch the garlic, add more oil if you need to.

Then, turning the heat down a bit to medium, toss in your tomatoes and herbs with a healthy dashing of salt and cook down.  Here’s where you can either cook them down, making a more liquid sauce, about 10 minutes.  Or you can quickly cook about 2-3 minutes and keep the tomatoes more in tact for a brucshetta-type topping, if you prefer.  Mix in the cheese, if preferred.

While the tomatoes simmer, cook the shrimp.  Coat another nonstick skillet with olive oil and heat thoroughly.  Throw your shrimp in and cook about 2 minutes or until slightly pink.  You can overcook shrimp in a heartbeat, but you’ll know they are done the second they lose transparency and start to become opaque.

Serve the pasta topped with sauce and shrimp.  This fresh, light summertime pasta screams PINOT GRIGIO!