Giada's Penne with Shrimp and Herbed Cream Sauce

I've had this recipe in my Food Network recipe box for a long time, and I never really got around to making it. Why, you ask? Because my husband despises seafood, and when he's away for a deployment, mission or Army school I can't justify making an entire pasta dish for myself. However, last week I wanted to get rid of a random bag of frozen shrimp in my freezer, and I decided Will would just have to tough it out. I have to give him credit-while he still refused to eat the shrimp, he ate AROUND them and happily polished off the pasta with cream sauce. I, for one, enjoyed this dish (along with the shrimp) immensely. Despite the fact that the base of this pasta is a cream sauce, it didn't feel too heavy or overwhelming. The herbs and seasonings were perfect, and even though I normally avoid adding cheese to any kind of seafood dish, the parmigiano reggiano was a perfect addition. 

  • 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-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained, 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 clam juice
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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, 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.
4. Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve immediately.


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