February 14, 2012

Pasta Alfredo with Shrimp, Peppers, and Broccoli

1 pound dried pasta
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup fat free half and half (or heavy cream)
1 cup grated parmesan and/or Romano cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
12 ounces uncooked shrimp (I went for medium shrimp with tails off for ease)
1 teaspoon original old bay seasoning
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 head of broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
Fresh parsley, for garnish

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta. Add in the broccoli to the cooking pasta for the last three minutes. Cook until the pasta is al dente and drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, in a separate pan place shrimp and pepper slices. Sprinkle with the old bay, crushed red pepper, and Italian seasonings. Cook on medium for several minutes, until shrimp are cooked throughly (usually 3-5 minutes). If needed, add 1 teaspoon of butter to the pan. Once the shrimp are cooked and the peppers are hot but still crisp, remove from pan.
Add to the pan the 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Bring temperature up to medium-high. Melt butter. Use a whisk to deglaze the pan from the shrimp and peppers if needed (yummy seasoning there!). Then add the 1 cup of half and half. Bring to a boil. Stir in the 1 cup of shredded cheese. Add the cooked pasta and broccoli and the 1/2 cup of reserved cooking water. Continue stirring. Add the shrimp and pepper. Stir more until cheese is melted and the dish is uniformly hot. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with the parsley. Serve immediately.

Don't mind the Christmas plate. It's all we've got for a few more weeks thanks to the military.

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