RECIPE: Spicy Shrimp and Chicken Pasta

I would like to introduce you to my new favorite dish! And the butter and heavy cream doesn’t have ANYTHING to do with it! 😉

First we start with our ingredients… our lovely, lovely ingredients.

What do we have hear? Quite a plethora of goods! Take it all in… because this one moves fast! I recommend you spend a few moments preparing your ingredients ahead of time because once you turn on the heat this goes pretty fast!

First, we chop our fresh “veg”…

And then we take out the freshly dried (and then freshly reconstituted) sun-dried tomatoes.

Give ’em a quick chop… and set aside.

In the meantime, I cut up our jumbo shrimp into bite-size pieces.

Cut the chicken tenders as well… and arrange them all neatly on a plate.

Next step: it’s time to dress the meat! And by “dress” I mean, season them. Here we have garlic powder, onion powder and chili powder.

Just a quick sprinkle … super simple! And for good measure, some kosher salt too!

And now it’s time to heat things up! When sauteing my “veg” I usually use a little olive oil and a little butter. (The butter adds great flavor while the olive oil has a higher burn temperature. So when you mix the oil with the butter it allows us to saute at a slightly higher temperature.)

Sliced shallots and mushrooms in the hot pan!

This will take a few minutes so I got the pasta down in the generously-salted boiling water. (Here’s my way of making this dish healthy – I used whole wheat pasta and it was yummy!)

Allow the veggies to saute down, and soften nicely, for about 3-4 minutes. Then add your chicken (chicken takes a bit longer to cook than shrimp – so we will add the shrimp in a moment).

Stir it all around the pan a bit and make sure than chicken is cooking even on all sides.

Once the chicken looks like the pink is almost gone, add your shrimp and give it a stir! The shrimp will immediately start to turn that beautiful color of corral! (I love that color – and it means the shrimp is almost done!)

Quickly moving into the next steps: add the cream, romano cheese and nutmeg. Stir.

The cayenne pepper goes in at this point. Stir well. Make sure the cheese is melting!

And for good measure, I added just a little more cheese. Shaved parmesan this time.

Next we add in the sun-dried tomatoes (chopped)… but because I didn’t have enough of the tomatoes, I also added a teaspoon of “sun-dried tomato pesto” (in fact, you can completely substitute out the tomatoes with this pesto instead).

Stir until the parmesan has melted and the tomatoes are even distrtibuted. And lastly, add the sliced green onions. One more stir…

Then it’s time to fold in the cooked/drained pasta!

Mix well… making sure to coat each penne with some sauce! Believe me when I say this – you don’t want to waste any of this sauce… you just don’t!

Make sure to serve it up with something to soak up that heavenly juice… we had garlic bread with dinner. Perfect way to soak up those juices… perfect!

Spicy Shrimp and Chicken Pasta

4-5 chicken tenders, diced
1 ½ tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
10-12 large raw shrimp, peeled, tail removed and cleaned
½ cup fresh crimini mushrooms, cleaned and diced
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
2 green onions, diced
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, reconstituted and diced (or 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato pesto sauce)
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper, to taste
1 ½ cups heavy cream
3/4 cup romano cheese, grated
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
8 ounces dry penne or bow tie pasta

Add butter to a large sauté pan on medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add mushrooms and shallot. Allow the veg to sauté until slightly softened (about 3-4 minutes). Season the shrimp and chicken pieces with garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder and salt. Once the veg is softened, add the shrimp/chicken and sauté until almost done (this should only take about 3-4 minutes). Add the cream, Romano cheese, cayenne pepper and nutmeg. Let cream reduce slightly, stirring frequently. Add the green onions and diced sun-dried tomatoes… toss (holding some of the green oniones for garnish). Meanwhile, cook pasta al dente according to package directions; drain excess water. Toss cooked pasta with contents of sauté pan. Serve. Top with diced green onions and parmesan cheese.

enjoy your time in the kitchen…


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