Shrimp and Pasta with Red Peppers and Peas

Last night was one of those nights where I started with one idea and for various reasons it morphed into something else entirely. First, I was going to make shrimp kebobs with mushrooms and peppers and a mango dipping sauce that I saw in an old Cooking Light book. I had the shrimp out to thaw but circumstances conspired such that I never made it to the store for mushrooms or mango chutney that I needed. I would have normally just gone ahead and made up something else but was somehow not in the mood to stand there skewering shrimp anyway.

My sister had sent me a recipe a long time ago for shrimp and pasta that called for a packet of Knorr’s Newburg sauce, which I could never find at the store. I thought perhaps I could adapt it a bit though. I saw something that sounded good in the same Cooking Light book and started down that trail. The directions were unclear however. It had you cooking the pasta and shrimp in 1 cup of water and 2 cups of chicken broth and then draining it or perhaps mixing that broth with the white sauce base… I switched gears moderately again and ended up with this, an Alfredo like sauce with shrimp, red peppers, and snap peas. It was pretty to look at and delicious!

2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
1/2 cup half and half
1 1/2 cups milk
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
2-3 Tbs Parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste
a dash of Worcestershire
a dash of Tabasco
1 red pepper, cut in 1/2″ strips
a cup of snap or snow peas (in the pod)
1 pound shrimp
1/2 – 3/4 pound pasta

Put a big pot of water on to boil for your pasta.

Put a smaller pot of water on to boil for your shrimp and vegetables. Since I had the idea of cooking the shrimp in chicken broth I added a bit of chicken bouillon to my water for flavor.

Melt the butter and stir in the flour. Cook a minute or two stirring constantly. Slowly add the milk and cream, stirring to incorporate so you don’t get lumps. Bring to a low simmer, stirring a lot, then cook a few minutes to thicken. Stir in the garlic, Parmesan, salt, pepper, Worcestershire, and Tabasco. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and keep warm until everything else is ready. Stir now and then.

Cook the pasta in your big pot and add the shrimp and vegetables to the smaller pot. You could, I realize, probably cook this all together in one pot if you timed it good so that everything was done at the same time. Cook the shrimp and vegetables just until the shrimp is done, about 3-4 minutes. Drain (and drain the pasta when done too, of course).

Mix the shrimp and vegetables with the sauce and serve over pasta.

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