Shrimp pasta is a visually appealing pasta dish made with shrimp, Italian pasta and a sauce made of ingredients like cheese, soup or stock, wine, onions, garlic, spices and herbs. To make the pasta, the sauce is first prepared with stock, wine and sautéed onions and garlic, along with seasonings and shrimp. Pasta is cooked separately and the sauce is either mixed with pasta or served atop it. Often other types of seafood such as crab and lobster may also be included in this pasta, which is served as a starter or side dish. This pasta dish is a versatile one and popular variants include Lemon Basil Shrimp Pasta and Garlic Shrimp Pasta.
Ingredients and Preparation Overview of Shrimp Pasta
Ingredients: Ingredients suggested by the shrimp pasta recipe are shrimp, pasta of one's choice, chicken or vegetable stock, white wine, garlic, onions, tomatoes, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, cream, olive oil and cheese. Fresh or frozen shrimp can be used as per availability, and additional flavoring ingredients such as lemon juice and ginger may be used.
Method of Preparation: Fresh shrimp is peeled and de-veined for inclusion in the dish. It may be cooked by sautéing, stir frying or boiling as per individual recipe. Pasta is also cooked in boiling salted water till tender yet still firm, after which it is drained. The sauce is prepared, usually by simmering broth, wine and sautéed onions, garlic, peppers and shrimp. The shrimp should be cooked till it is tender and pink. Other ingredients like tomatoes, fish sauce or ginger may also be included in the sauce. The shrimp sauce is either served over cooked pasta or mixed with pasta and heated through.
Serving Shrimp Pasta
The pasta is served warm as a starter or a side dish as a part of the main meal. It may be garnished with grated cheese, chopped parsley, and/or lemon zest. It is quite often served with accompaniments like green salad, garlic bread and brown sugar asparagus.
Shrimp Pasta Recipe Variations
- Angel Shrimp Pasta: This shrimp and pasta dish is prepared with angel hair pasta. Angel hair pasta is a type of pasta which is in the form of extremely thin and long strands. Other ingredients may include chopped onions, sliced mushrooms, cream of mushroom soup, jalapeno cheese spread and cooked shrimp. The onions and mushrooms are sautéed in heated margarine, after which they are blended with the cheese spread. Shrimp is cooked in this sauce, after which the sauce is poured over pasta, which has been cooked separately.
- Lemon Basil Shrimp Pasta: This version of shrimp pasta includes lemon zest and basil leaves as flavoring agents in the sauce. While lemon zest is added to heated olive oil in the initial stage of preparing a sauce (with garlic, olive oil, shrimp, salt and pepper), basil leaves are added in at the final stage of preparation.
- Lobster Ravioli with Shrimp in Tomato Cream Sauce: This version is made with lobster ravioli, which is a type of pasta containing lobster meat filling, along with shrimp and a sauce made with tomatoes, shallots, garlic, heavy cream and seasonings. The pasta is garnished with lemon zest and chopped fresh parsley.
- Shrimp and Asparagus Fettuccine: This is made with garlic and asparagus sautéed in olive oil, cooked shrimp, seasonings, shredded Parmesan cheese and cooked fettuccine pasta. Olive oil is used generously in the dish as it serves as the sauce base.
- Thai Shrimp Vermicelli with Chicken: This Thai version of shrimp pasta is made by stir frying ground chicken, shrimp and peppers and use of flavoring ingredients like ginger, garlic, lime juice and fish sauce. Chicken or vegetable broth is used as a base for the sauce, to which the meats and flavorings are added. Cooked vermicelli noodles are added once the sauce is prepared, and bean sprouts are also mixed in at the final stage. The pasta dish is sprinkled with coriander, peanuts and onions.
- Shrimp and Red Pepper Linguine: This is made with shrimp, red pepper, onion, parsley, linguine, which is a flat and long pasta resembling fettuccine, Parmesan cheese, herbs and seasonings. Garlic, onion and red pepper are sautéed in heated olive oil, followed by addition of shrimp, salt and pepper. When the shrimp has cooked and is tender and pink, this mixture is poured over cooked linguine and served with a topping of grated Parmesan cheese and chopped Italian parsley.
A single serving of shrimp pasta contains about 350 calories, though the exact count differs with choice of ingredients. Shrimp is rich in protein and selenium, and also a good source of vitamin B12, vitamin D, omega 3 fatty acids, iron, phosphorus, zinc, copper, magnesium and niacin.