Andi tells me that this is one of her favorite dishes that I make for her and that I should share it with you so… I’m doing what she says. I came up with the recipe one night while just trying to use up some stuff we had in the pantry and freezer. Except for the peas! Fresh is best when you have it. It’s always so nice to use fresh ingredients from Andi’s garden and the green peas this year are delicious. You can certainly use frozen but fresh is always best so check with your farmer’s market if you aren’t growing your own.
You can absolutely use regular wild shrimp if you can’t find royal reds but if you can find them they are a little sweeter and almost like a cross between crawfish and lobster. They usually come “heads on”. Fresh or frozen is fine. When you boil them it creates a nice light seafood stock. After you remove the shrimp, add your pasta to the same water and it will turn out with a very nice flavor.
As always, it’s best to practice good Mise en Place, (the French term for “everything in it’s place”). If you prepare all of the ingredients ahead of time and have them at your fingertips, it makes it easier for you to relax and enjoy a glass of wine and the whole cooking process.
One more thing about this dish… Don’t worry! You don’t have to stuff a pea into every shell. They will find a way in there on their own… So pour a glass of wine, put some music on and here we go…
What You’ll Need:
1 lb of Royal Red shrimp
1 stick of butter (unsalted)
1 teaspoon fresh chopped garlic
I tbsp creole seasoning (i.e. Zatarain’s, Tony Chachere’s or Louisiana Brand)
1 cup of fresh or frozen green peas
16 ounces of small pasta shells
2/3 cup of half and half
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
2/3 cup of dry white wine (pinot grigio works well)
1/2 cup chopped fresh green onion or chives
salt and pepper
Add a pinch of salt and 1 tsp liquid crab boil seasoning to at least 3 quarts of cold water and bring to a boil in large pot.
Boil shrimp for four minutes then carefully remove them with tongs or spoon and set aside. Save water and let it continue to boil to use for pasta.
Next… Check “al dente” cooking time on the box and subtract 1 to 2 minutes…
For small pasta shells – 5 minutes. They will cook at bit more after they boil.
Set timer… Add pasta to the same boiling water that the shrimp was in.
NOTE: Two things that are important about getting good results with pasta… Use lots of water and don’t over cook. Remove pasta promptly after timer sounds pour into colander and set aside.
While pasta is cooking, peel shrimp and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Set aside.
Bring it all together…
In a large skillet, over medium heat, melt half a stick of butter. Once butter has melted add creole seasoning and garlic and sauté for 1 minute while stirring well.
Add white wine, stir and reduce heat to medium/low… Quickly add shrimp, half and half, peas, green onion, grated parmesan and pasta… stir for about 30 seconds. Add a pinch of black pepper.
Mix well until peas find their way into the pasta.
Let simmer for 2-3 minutes on medium/low heat. Taste and add more creole seasoning if desired.
Squeeze fresh lemon juice over top and serve hot with crusty french bread.