Let’s talk about shrimp for a minute. I always have shrimp on hand in my house because they are a quick and easy addition to any meal. They cook up quickly and make any meal feel more substantial without weighing you down. Yesterday I did a post about my South of the border sweet potato, which got me in the mood to do shrimp tacos, but alas, I didn’t have everything I needed for that! So, I had to move to plan B. I was thinking I could make some Thai inspired shrimp dish like shrimp curry but then the thought of making coconut shrimp crossed my mind. Unfortunately I only had sweetened coconut so that idea was a bust as well. Well when all else fails, you can always rely on making something Italian. I really love making shrimp scampi – its quick, flavorful, and always a belly pleaser. But I wanted to make something a little more decadent and rich tasting. So I rummaged through my pantry and fridge to see what I could find and I was quite pleased with what I came up with!

While finding some onions, mushrooms, and garlic, I remembered my dear sweet friend Kate brought me some fresh herbs the week before, so I obviously had to use those as well. Then I pulled out some tomato paste, sour cream, and white wine that looked like a pretty good base for a tasty sauce. I had some pretty good things going on and was very excited to finally make this meal. So I did a whole lot of chopping and slicing and started to put the dish together. Let me tell ya folks, your kitchen is going to smell amazing when you make this! This dish reminds me of a shrimp pomodoro and scampi fused together. You get all the flavorful benefits of sautéing the vegetables and shrimp in a scampi-like broth but then you get the added bonus of this dreamy creamy tomato sauce. YUM!

Other than making chicken marsala, this is my top pasta dish that I have made in a while. You could make this dinner to impress a date or for a large dinner party. This is simple to throw together but yields such impressive results. The really great touch to this dish is throwing in some freshly chiffonaded basil right before serving. It adds such a fresh flavor to the decadent sauce and a beautiful pop of color. If you had to make one meal tonight, this has to be it! It will win a place in your foodie heart as a forever keeper! Enjoy!

Heavenly Angel Hair Pasta
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of angel hair pasta
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 package of crimini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 pound of shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails off
  • 5 tablespoons of butter
  • 8 tablespoons of good olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes (you can add more if you like more of a kick!)
  • ½ cup of white wine
  • 3 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 8oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of sour cream (light or regular)
  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh parsley
  • Kosher Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Bring some water up to a boil in a pot for your pasta. Meanwhile, in a sauté pan add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and 3 tablespoons of butter. Wait till the butter has melted a bit and throw in your onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Throw in a little salt and pepper for good measure. Once the onions are translucent and the mushrooms soften, add the white wine. Let this mixture simmer for a few minutes then add in the tomato paste. Make sure to really incorporate the tomato paste throughout the sauce. Add in some freshly chopped basil and parsley, about a tablespoon of each. Once fully combined, put the sauce in separate bowl.
  2. Check on your water. Once the water is boiling, add some salt and olive oil for taste and throw in your pasta. Using the same pan you made the sauce in, add the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of butter, and crushed red pepper. Once the butter is melted, add in your shrimp. While the first side of the shrimp is cooking you can add salt and pepper to taste. Be sure to keep an eye on your shrimp, once they start curling and turning pink, it is time to flip the shrimp and season with salt and pepper one more time. You want to under cook the shrimp slightly because you will finish the cooking process by adding the shrimp into the hot sauce during the last few moments. Once all of your shrimp are cooked, remove and set aside on a plate.
  3. Return your onion, mushroom, and garlic sauce to the sauté pan and add in the tomato sauce. Let this mixture simmer for a few minutes, and then add in the sour cream. Make sure to taste your sauce to see if it needs any more seasoning, if so do that now. Once fully combined, add your shrimp into the sauce and simmer for a few more minutes. Now, depending on how large your pasta pot and sauté pan are, you will want to choose to do this in whichever one is bigger. Drain your pasta and add it directly into the simmering sauce or if your pasta pot is bigger, add the sauce into the pasta pot. Stir to combine and turn off the heat. While letting your pasta absorb the sauce, grab some more fresh basil and *chiffonade it. After plating, sprinkle on a little fresh basil and serve immediately! Enjoy with a chilled glass of white wine while listening to Frank Sinatra.

*to chiffonade basil all you do is stack 4 or 5 pieces of fresh basil and roll it up tightly from top to bottom. Grab your sharp knife and start to cut thin strips off the roll. Once completely cut, loosen the strips by separating with your fingers. Ta-da! Now you know how to chiffonade!

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