Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Creamy Pasta with Shrimp and Basil

It was recently called to my attention that this month I have posted only vegetarian recipes.  For fear that I, too, have given up meat (sorry, fam) it was suggested I balance out the posts.  This post is in honor of the lovely crustacean, shrimp.

After a long week in school, I needed a great glass of wine, amazing company and delicious food. So, I got the girls, (yes, law school girls do more than just study) opened up a bottle of wine and got to cooking with these beautiful ladies.  We made an amazing creamy pasta, a delicious salad and some wonderful appetizers.  The pasta, while creamy, is low on the calories, thanks to Hannah's ingenious tip--try using soy milk instead of regular milk for creaminess and less fat and calories!  It was wonderful.

What you'll need:
1 package pasta (linguine or spaghetti) 
1 cup soy milk (any other type of milk can substitute)
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (or more if you like cheese)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 chopped garlic cloves

First, start by making a snack! (Toasted baguette with garlic, olive oil, bruschetta, brie and basil)
Next, make a salad and try this combination for an unusual and new version: butter lettuce, candied pecans, brie, dried cranberries and a spicy dijon mustard dressing
Now, down to the real cooking.  If you have frozen shrimp, run them under cold water to de-thaw them.  If you have an awesome friend that's willing to pick up fresh shrimp, go on and de-shell them!
Next, boil the pasta and begin making a roux:
Combine 1/2 cup soy milk and flour in a pan, stirring with a whisk (or fork if you don't have a whisk) until  blended. 
Place pan over medium heat; and slowly stir in remaining 1/2 cup milk. Stir in mustard and a little bit of salt and pepper. 
Bring to a boil but then reduce the heat to low, and cook 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken.  Stir frequently so it doesn't burn/stick/do something else you don't want in your pasta.
 (That's Hannah with her soy milk trick!)
When the roux is on the low heat, put some olive oil in a different pan, about 1 tablespoon.  Add a little bit of chopped garlic when the oil is hot.  Add the shrimp.  The shrimp will cook fast--it only takes a few minutes for them to turn opaque! (That's how you know they're done)
Pink and delicious!
Next, add the finished creamy roux to the pasta
Add parmesan--lots of it!  Also, add some more salt and pepper
Add the shrimp, and basil and top with more parmesan
Then, sit at the table like a civilized person--don't eat out of the pot--and enjoy an awesome glass of wine, some good company and some delicious food.

Side Note: I've added a "gadget" to the side of the blog to highlight some of the useful things I have in my kitchen.  Some of them are unusual ingredients I like, and some are just helpful, pretty cheap, gadgets I have around that make cooking a lot easier or faster.


  1. what a perfect salad, it has all of the components I love! Welcome to foodbuzz, if you need any help navigating the site, don't hesitate to ask!

  2. Your pasta is gorgeous! YUMMY!
    Dropping by from foodbuzz! You have a lovely blog...and I'm your newest follower. Would greatly appreciate a follow back! (^.^)