Tuesday, September 7, 2010
It's a rare occasion that a fettuccine recipe in this household is not smothered in creamy Alfredo sauce. It's not always that high-fat, heavy cream version of Alfredo, I've tried all sorts of "lightened up" variations, but still...there is Alfredo sauce. It's one of my husband's favorite dishes in the whole world! I usually reserve it for special occasions like Father's Day and our anniversary, because, let's face it Fettuccine Alfredo is not the healthiest dish, even lightened up. And...confession time...it's not my favorite dish. I like it, but it's not as if I'd choose it for my last meal. I don't even know if it would make the menu if I got to pick my last 5 meals. But when I saw this recipe on Deep South Dish, it spoke to me. Lots of flavors, textures, and color. Smoky sausage, shrimp, artichokes, pimentos, Cajun seasons....YUM! Plus, this recipe came from Mary's(the creator of Deep South Dish) mama. And I know that anytime I post one of my mom's recipes here, it's because it's pretty amazing. I had to try this one!
I began by cooking a pound of fettuccine noodles in salted water, according to the package directions. When the pasta is cooked to the desired texture, save 2 cups of the pasta water before draining. Don't forget this step...you'll need that pasta water later.
Now heat some oil in a skillet and brown up 1/2 cup of diced smoked sausage.
Remove the sausage to a dish and keep warm.
Then sear the shrimp. Once it's no longer translucent, remove it from the skillet too. I added mine to the dish full of sausage.
If needed, add a little more oil to the skillet, then add sliced green onion and cook for a minute.
Dump in a jar of drained quartered artichokes and drained pimentos. Cook and stir until warmed through.
Then stir in all of the spices.
Add in 4 tablespoons of butter and cook and stir until the butter melts and the spices are evenly distributed.
Add the shrimp and sausage back into the mix and stir them around to toss.
Now stir in some of that pasta water. The starch in the pasta water bonds with the fat from the butter, creating a nice, creamy sauce. Add just enough of the water to make a nice sauce.
You'll have to let it cook and thicken a bit. Add more pasta water gradually as needed. I think that I ended up using about 1 1/2 cups. I tasted the sauce before adding the pasta and adjusted the seasonings accordingly.
When you get the sauce "just right" add in the pasta and toss it to coat. Sprinkle with some red pepper flakes. We loved this one and all of the flavors goin' on! The kids ate it too...they just picked around the artichokes and pimentos. : ) This was perfect served with some crusty bread (for sopping up the flavorful sauce) and a salad.
Here's the recipe straight from Deep South Dish:
Shrimp and Fettuccine
1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pound of fettuccine or linguine noodles, prepared
al dente, according to package directions
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 cup of diced andouille or other smoked sausage or ham
4 green onions, sliced
1 (14 ounce) can of artichokes, drained and quartered
1 (2 ounce) jar of pimentos, drained
1 teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon of chopped fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Zatarain's Big & Zesty Creole
seasoning, Slap Ya Mama, or your favorite
Cajun/Creole seasoning, or to taste
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of unsalted butter
Sprinkle of red pepper flakes
Peel and devein the shrimp; pat dry with paper towels. Prepare the pasta in well salted water, according to package directions for al dente. Reserve 2 cups of the pasta water before draining. Drain pasta and set aside.
Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet and cook the smoked sausage or ham until seared; use a slotted spoon to remove and set aside. Add additional oil to the skillet if needed, and sear the shrimp, remove and set aside with the sausage. Add the sliced green onion to the skillet; cook and stir for about a minute. Add the artichokes and pimentos; cook and stir until warmed through.
Return the meat and shrimp to the pan and add the herbs and seasonings, up to and including the salt and pepper. Add the butter and cook and stir until butter has melted and seasonings are well distributed. Stir in the reserved pasta water, about 1/2 cup at a time, until a nice sauce has developed. You may or may not use all of the reserved pasta water. Toss in the drained pasta; taste and adjust seasonings. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and serve immediately. A side salad and bread are perfect for this dish.
Notes: I did make 2 changes to this recipe. First, I only ended up using half of the pasta or 1/2 lb. It seemed to be just the right amount for the sauce and it was enough to feed our family of 4 until we were good and full and we still had enough leftovers for my husband's lunch today. Second, after it was all mixed together, I decided to add just a few dashes of Louisiana Style hot sauce and stir it in. Then it was....perfection!