Saturday, September 3, 2011

Shrimp with Tomatoey Cream Sauce

 An unexpected improv night occurred last night and this one resulted in a tasty dish that the whole family really enjoyed-yes that includes my picky 10 year old son Grant. When he took his first bite, he initially faked a grimace that quickly turned into a big smile, big eyes, and a "Yummmm!"

I had to use half and half in this dish but at least it wasn't heavy cream. I don't think fat-free half and half would have made it as tasty and a little fat isn't going to hurt. Sometimes I think that we should worry less about how many fat grams goes into a dish and more on staying away from processed foods. 

I'll make this dish again and measure more precisely next time, but since this was improv night, my measurements will be approximate. I also chose to make a large amount for the purposes of leftovers so feel free to cut the recipe in half if you are only serving this for two people.

1 and a half-2 pounds of shrimp (peeled, deveined, and remove tails-I like Costco frozen shrimp)
1 and a half pounds of asparagus (cut three times-stems removed)
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/8th tsp (or less) pepper flakes
1 large onion, roughly sliced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
a dash of dried basil
1/2 cup of dry white wine
the juice of 2 lemons
1 tbs of balsamic vinegar
a handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup of half and half
4 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Start a pot of water on the stove to get ready to boil before you start cooking. I always do this so that I don't have to worry about the pasta not being ready at the same time as the sauce.

In a large nonstick skillet on low heat, add olive oil and onion and garlic. Gently saute until it starts to get soft. Add tomatoes, red pepper flakes, basil. Cook for about 5-8 minutes. You may need to increase the heat to medium or a little above to get it to start bubbling. Add lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and wine. Bring heat down and let it simmer. It can simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Place pasta in boiling water and make sure it's on it's way while you start the next step.

To finish, add shrimp, asparagus and parsley. Keep the heat on low and cover until shrimp is cooked through and the asparagus is soft but not mushy (if you are using especially thick asparagus, you may need to peel it and/or place it in the skillet a few minutes ahead of the shrimp). Then, add the half and half. The dish will turn a pretty pinkish peach color. Salt and pepper to taste.

Served with angel hair pasta but any pasta will work

Tell me what you think! 


  1. Looks very pretty. I'm surprised Grant liked it. But then he's always full of surprises.