Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Shrimp and Bowties in Fresh Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

Fresh shrimp in a tomato basil cream sauce, made from fresh tomatoes and garden herbs, and tossed with bowtie pasta.
Fresh shrimp in a tomato basil cream sauce, made from fresh tomatoes and garden herbs, and tossed with bowtie pasta.

Shrimp and Bowties in Fresh Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

Whew, things have been crazy here for a few months - a cookbook launch (something I never thought I'd do) {affil link}, 3 trips to Philadelphia for QVC (and I've still not seen any of the historical sights or had an authentic cheesesteak), and let me tell you... I don't know if it's because I'm pretty much a homebody and happy to be, or that I'm older, or both, but travel sure puts a strain on me these days, both for days before and days after. Then there was a very important family graduation, two potluck dinners with my Uncle Jim before he heads back up to Maryland (thanks for hosting Nikki!), a special honors recognition ceremony for my eldest grandson and a dance recital for my granddaughter.

Now that they are out of school and with summer activities lined up, they're here at the house with us more of the day, and we're also trying to help out where we can with getting them to and fro. The Cajun and I both love having the grandkids - we have a good time and we've both grown very close to them over the last year and I tell ya... they sure have their Paw Paw wrapped around their little pinkie promise fingers.

I've also had two magazine columns due in this time, I accepted a brand ambassadorship so that I could bring you original recipes for BBQ season made easy, and so far in this second quarter of the year, I've also brought you a half dozen original recipes, 4 product reviews, 1 cookbook review and 4 giveaways, and of course, I've still been writing recipes and cooking all along (and some folks think that bloggers don't really work.) And... in the midst of the craziness, I also had a very big high school class reunion - 40 years - and I still can hardly believe that y'all.

I have another column due and another recipe to develop using pulled pork in the next couple of weeks, an appearance with food from the cookbook for a local television daytime show I have to prepare for, followed by a book signing, and then a big family reunion coming up soon - the first in many years, and so much new family to meet! Although things have settled down a bit, I'm as busy as anybody else I guess. Book, blog or whatever you have - that's just life these days, right?!

You may remember this basic sauce from a past post of Fried Green Tomatoes with Tomato Basil Cream Sauce that I copycatted from a local restaurant, and where I mentioned that this is a great sauce to use on pasta. Tomato basil sauce is so versatile - I've included a few ideas below - and this is a perfect example of a good way to use it with pasta. There is no better time for it than now, with fresh summer tomatoes and herbs finally available. I still haven't gotten underground lines marked to dig a veggie garden, so my tomatoes are in buckets again just like last year, but hey, I have what I need so it's working for me and container gardening just means I have to stay on top of the watering a little better.

Anyway, how about let's start makin' some shrimp with bowties in a fresh tomato basil cream sauce?! First off, boil 6 ounces of bow tie pasta in a large pot of well-salted water to al dente, according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water; set aside. You can use whatever pasta you like of course. Chop up enough freshly peeled tomatoes on a rimmed board to give you 2 cups chopped, with the juices reserved.

I don't bother with boiling tomatoes anymore and you won't either once you discover a soft skin peeler {affil link}. Trust me on this one - it's awesome for both tomatoes and peaches - easy and fast!

Meanwhile, season shrimp generously to taste with the salt, pepper, Old Bay and Cajun seasoning.

Heat olive oil with 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat until bubbly. Add shrimp and cook, stirring regularly just until shrimp are no longer translucent. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add onions to the skillet drippings and cook until tender; add garlic and cook another minute.

Stir in the tomatoes, with their juices, and the sauce; add salt, pepper and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

Return shrimp to the skillet and stir in cream until both are warmed through.

Finish with the remaining butter. Add the parsley and basil.

Add pasta and toss until warmed through. Add reserved pasta water only if needed to thin sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Transfer to pasta bowl and grate fresh Parmesan cheese over top. Garnish with additional basil. Eat!

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Posted by on June 16, 2015
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