Sunday, March 2, 2014

Gluten Free Pasta: Shrimp in Tomato Cream Sauce

This recipe is a variation on one that I hadn't thought about in years.  It appeared in the Sunset Recipe Annual 1988 Edition: Every Sunset Magazine Recipe and Food Article From 1987.

Now the other day, when I bought a pound of medium (21-30 per pound) shrimp, I had no idea I would make this dish. I was musing on lighter, spring-is-approaching food and thought I'd make a quick shrimp and vegetable stir fry.  It wasn't until I passed a display of this gluten free pasta that the kernel of a recipe took hold as I vaguely began remembering making a cream and vermouth-based pasta sauce so very many years ago.

Having recently spent several weeks sorting through my considerable library of cookbooks, donating some to our local library, taking some to a used bookstore, and shelving most in my new(er) office bookshelves, it was easy to look back through a few older cookbooks until I found the recipe: Pasta with Shrimp in Tomato Cream.  Having some but not all of the specified ingredients, I did my own riff and pretty much changed a Mediterranean-ish recipe into one with a Creole bent using my recently purchased Lucile's Creole Seasoning.  And how perfect is that for Mardi Gras month?
Here's the recipe.

Creole Seasoned Shrimp in Tomato Cream Sauce Over Gluten Free Pasta

Recipe loosely adapted from Sunset Recipe Annual 1988 Edition

2 tablespoons or less olive oil or (and this is really good) oil from the jar of sun dried tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 pound medium shrimp, shelled, deveined, cut into bite-size pieces
Lucile's Creole Seasoning to taste
1/2 cup oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch wide slices
1-2 tablespoons crushed Penzeys Bonnes Herbes (it's what I had on hand; you could use thyme and rosemary if you wish)
5-10 grinds green peppercorns
1 14-ounce can good diced tomatoes
1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock
2/3 cup very dry vermouth
1 cup whipping cream (see cook's notes)
1 8-ounce box gluten free rotelle pasta, or your favorite pasta

Fill a large pasta pot with water and bring to a boil. Hold at medium heat after boiling until adding the cream to the sauce (see below).

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet large enough to hold the shrimp and sauce.  When the oil is hot, add the cut shrimp, sprinkling with the Creole seasoning, and saute until pink all over. Remove to a plate and cover to keep warm.

In the same skillet in which you cooked the shrimp, add the diced tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, chicken stock, vermouth, dried herbs, and ground green peppercorns. Stir to loosen the bits that may be stuck to the pan and bring to a boil.  Boil until the sauce is reduced by one-half. Season to taste with the Creole seasoning (remember, the shrimp has already been seasoned with this) and add the cream, stirring to blend.  Boil again until reduced by one-half, or pasta sauce-thick.  Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked shrimp.

Begin cooking the pasta in the boiling water around the time you add the cream to the sauce. The gluten free pasta listed here will be al dente in about 6 minutes.  Immediately drain the pasta in a colander or fine-meshed sieve and then add to the thickened sauce, off heat.  Stir gently until all the pasta is coated with sauce.

Serve immediately with a green salad and crusty bread of your choice for mopping up the sauce.

Cook's Notes:
Creme Fraiche may be substituted for the heavy cream.
Try to purchase organic food items whenever possible; they just taste better.

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