Serves a Crowd

Hot and Spicy Shrimp with Pasta

January 25, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Serves 3-4
Author Notes

There's a little town on the Florida Panhandle called Santa Rosa Beach, and every summer my family (18 of us) rents a big house there. We all take turns making dinner. My brother-in-law David is a great cook, and grilling is his specialty. He originated this recipe, using Cajun spices and lots of cayenne.

I originally wrote the recipe that way, but when I've made it, I have preferred to add whatever herbs and spices appeal to me. Especially when I can get fresh herbs, I'd rather use them than pre-made spice blends. (I've carried fresh herbs from my garden to the beach in my suitcase because I'm never sure what Publix will have. But I am insane.) I've also found that while grilling adds great flavor, it's difficult to grill shrimp without overcooking them, so sometimes they come out tough and chewy. Poaching them in butter works better for me.

You can make the marinade as spicy as you like, and feel free to add cajun spices if that's your bag--a tablespoon or so in place of the salt and pepper will work.

(Photo is of shrimp as they began cooking. I of course forgot to take a photo when I served it.) —drbabs

What You'll Need
  • Shrimp and Marinade
  • 1.5 pounds jumbo shrimp (about 16-20 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary, lightly crushed
  • 5 large sprigs of thyme, lightly crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Shrimp with Pasta and Sauce
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) butter
  • 1 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bunches scallions, chopped fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 pound angel hair spaghetti (or other thin noodles)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • red pepper flakes as desired
  1. Shrimp and Marinade
  2. Put shrimp and all marinade ingredients in a gallon Ziploc bag and let marinate for about an hour.
  1. Shrimp with Pasta and Sauce
  2. In a large sauce pan, heat the butter on medium to medium high heat till melted (you can let it brown as well--just turn the heat down when it begins to brown and smell nutty so it doesn't burn). Add mushrooms and a pinch of kosher salt, and allow them to cook until they just soften. Stir in the garlic and scallions. Sweat them briefly, then add all the other sauce ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the shrimp (without the marinade) and let it poach in the butter sauce till pink and just cooked through.
  3. At around the same time you add the shrimp to the butter sauce, start the pasta. Cook it in heavily salted boiling water for 6- 8 minutes or until just al dente.
  4. Stir pasta into shrimp and swirl it into the butter sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning. (You might want to add another squeeze of lemon juice or a bit more Worcestershire sauce here as well.) Sprinkle with parsley, and serve in bowls with French bread to soak up extra sauce. Pass the red pepper flakes for those who desire a little extra heat.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • ourlastsupper
  • dymnyno
  • drbabs

4 Reviews

ourlastsupper January 27, 2011
If you drive through Niceville to get there, stop at the Cool Fish market on Hwy 20. They have the best seafood in the area and at Niceville prices.
drbabs January 27, 2011
Thanks for the tip!
dymnyno January 25, 2011
Sounds delicious...I am on my way to Florida!
drbabs January 25, 2011
Thanks--have a great trip! Blue Mountain Beach is near Destin. Are you going there?