CAJUN SHRIMP ALFREDO PASTA

My family requests for me to make this dish at every single gathering or potluck. It’s an easy recipe with lots of flavor. I even cheat and use store-bought alfredo sauce as a base of the dish. Honestly, I think Bertoli alfredo sauce is absolutely essential. I’ve tried making this pasta with other pre-made sauces and it’s just not the same. Of course, my secret ingredient is… fish sauce! I know what you’re thinking, fish sauce with pasta?! But trust me, a little bit goes along way. I don’t include any salt at all because the fish sauce elevates the umami of the shrimp. I doctor it up a bit with heavy cream and grated parmesan and romano cheese to create the creamy consistency. I like to keep the tail on the shrimp because I think it prevents the shrimp from curling up too much. Don’t know if this is true or not, but hey, it makes the dish look pretty! 🙂 

Ingredients:

  • 1 box penne pasta
  • 1 jar Bertoli alfredo sauce
  • 1 cup grated parmesan & romano cheese
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Portabello mushroom (diced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons Italian flat leaf parsley (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (add more if you want it spicier)
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1b shrimp (peeled and deveined with tail on)

Instructions:

  1. Fill a pot of water and add salt. Bring to a roaring boil and cook pasta following instructions on the box. I like to keep the noodles al dente.
  2. Add two tablespoons of olive oil to a deep saute pan on medium high heat. Add chopped onions and cook for a few minutes until onions are translucent. Then, add red bell peppers and stir for an additional two minutes. Add the diced portabello mushrooms and stir for an additional minute. Now, add the peeled and deveined shrimp with the tails still on.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon fish sauce, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Stir until the shrimp turn orange, but be careful not to overcook it. (You don’t want to see the shrimp curling too much).
  4. Now, turn the heat down to medium and add the jar of Bertoli alfredo sauce. Then, add 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and 1 cup of grated parmesan and romano cheese. Stir until all the cheese is dissolved. Add the chopped parsley and stir.
  5. Add the cooked pasta into the pot of sauce and stir until everything is combined.

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