Thursday, April 23, 2009

Shrimp Pasta Biscayne Parke and an Award!!!

Last year when I lived in Chicago, I was fortunate to live just 2 blocks from one of the best Italian restaurants in the city. While I didn't eat there often, LaDonna was a favorite for DS and me, and my fabulous friend Gwendolyn and I had our Christmas celebration there. They have a create-your-own-pasta section of the menu and I was always fascinated by, but never tried, the Mona Lisa sauce, drescribed on the menu as saffron cream with shrimp.

I made Reeni's wonderful Cajun Shrimp Alfredo last week, and have been dying to try my hand at creating my own shrimp pasta ever since. (The whole family was crazy about Reeni's SPICY shrimp pasta dish-- I'm telling you, Reeni is a genius!)

Having the idea "saffron cream sauce" in my head, I decided to see what I could come up with. It was so good, we could not stop eating it!!!

I don't talk much about work, seeing as I'm all about the food here, but I have so much to be thankful for. I just finished a job for a wonderful library that I have been working with for many months now. They are a fantastic group of people and I am really going miss them. My clients are the greatest-- they all represent the best ideals of library service. They are all dedicated, and they all inspire me. Especially this very special group of people from Florida. So, this recipe is for you: you know who you are!! I named it in honor of all of you.

Here is my original recipe.

Shrimp Pasta Biscayne Parke
by DomesticMuse


1 lb. shrimp, peeled, shells reserved
1 t. saffron threads
1 t. red pepper flakes
3 T
unsalted butter
1 onion
2 T vodka
1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1 t. best-quality curry powder
1/2 c. white wine
2 T. tomato paste
1 t. sugar
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. whole milk
1/3 c. sundried tomato strips
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and patted dry with paper towel
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 lb. spaghettini, cooked al dente


Spray a large skillet with non-stick spray and heat over medium heat. Add the butter.

Add the shrimp and red pepper flakes, and saute the shrimp until pink. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and place on a plate; reserve.

Meanwhile, place the shrimp shells in a saucepan and cover with water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and boil uncovered until the shells turn pink.

Remove the shells from the broth and continue to boil until the liquid is reduced to about 1/2 c. or less. Add the saffron threads to the hot shrimp broth and remove from the heat. Allow to steep at least 10 minutes.

Without wiping out the skillet the shrimp was cooked in, add the onions and more butter if needed. Cook the onions over medium-low heat until soft and sweet. Increase the heat, add the vodka, and cook, stirring, until the vodka is mostly evaporated and reduced to a thick liquid.

Add the sliced mushrooms and cook, stirring, about 5-7 minutes, or until the mushrooms have released their liquid and it has mostly evaporated. Add the curry powder and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring, to take the raw edge off the curry spices.

Add the saffron broth and the white wine to the mushroom mixture and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid is evaporated.
Whisk in the tomato paste and sugar. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the heavy cream and milk, and the sun-dried tomato strips. Bring the mixture to gentle boil, and simmer until reduced by half. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

Remove from the heat and stir in the crushed garlic. Add the shrimp and the artichokes and stir gently to combine.

Serve over the cooked spaghettini. Garnish with chopped flat-leaf parsley.

!Buen provecho!!

I am so, so excited to tell you that I have just received a real honor, a blog award called the Premio de Oro (Gold Medal) from my best pan pal, Nathan at La Cocina de Nathan.

Nathan received this beautiful prize from Cuban cooking star Marilyn and is passing it along to me! I am really, truly thrilled, honored, and humbled-- without Nathan, I would have given up on my blog long ago. Thanks for the award, the encouragement, and the friendship, Nathan!! Of course, as with any good award, it's meant to be passed along-- which I will do, once I've had a chance to collect my thoughts! This award also asks you to list 7 things about yourself, so don't miss Nathan's list!

Nathan's blog is just amazing, for anyone interested in authentic Latin American foodways and cooking. He makes a lot of heritage recipes honoring his Spanish, Cuban, and Mexican roots. Not only does his blog serve to preserve and promote his cultural heritage, it is some seriously good eats! We are addicted to many of Nathan's recipes in our home, in particular his porkchops, meatballs and his grandma's rice pudding! Please check out La Cocina de Nathan-- a fabulous, fabulous blog! I've learned so much from reading Nathan and Marilyn's blogs that I can make Cuban food at home that is 10 times better than anything we can get in a Cuban restaurant around here.

Muchisimas gracias, Nathan, por este premio y por su amistad.


  1. This is gorgeous! Congrats on your award. Oh yeah, mexichef loved your comment...he had a huge smile on his face :)

  2. I want you to know you have my hubby's full attention with this shrimp recipe, he lend over and said WHAT"S THAT CAN YOU MAKE IT!!! Guess what I'm gonna make!

  3. This is divine. The sauce is such a great color from the tomatoes and saffron. I love the name of it! Thanks for trying my recipe-that is one of my favorites-my family loves it too! Your the best!

  4. Congrats on your award.. This dish looks super delicious. I love the sauce. Awesome creation!

  5. The shrimp pasta sounds excellent! Congrats on your award!

  6. Mmm, this shrimp and pasta dish looks absolutely delicious. I'm so impressed with your creativity. I wish I could have a plate of this goodness right now!

  7. the cream sauce looks divine!! Congrats on your award.

  8. Wonderful dish and creative to :) I bet the boiled shrimp shell broth lends tons of flavor to the dish, I've used shrimp broth to make yellow rice with shrimp and it's heaven :)


    Thanks for all the compliments I am honored and happy to be your food blog buddy, and glad that I am able to share my cultures food and that others enjoy it, that alone makes my day :)

  9. I found you via Donna and Christo. I was given some saffron strands last week and did not know what to do with them until I stumbled across this post. I made this dish tonight and it was so friggin good that it is midnite and I am having a little snack as I type my thank you, what an incredible combination of flavors, I really enjoyed this recipe!

  10. That dish sounds and looks beyond fabulous!! The flavors, the richness, and the deliciousness!! Oh my, thank you for sharing!! Have a great Sunday..

  11. This dish looks just amazing - I adore shrimp and can't wait to try my hand at this one!

  12. I found you through snugs...this is amazing - I have some shrimp I just picked up in chinatown and I think I might try this....

  13. Hi, Karen!
    A few weeks ago, I found Donna's (My Tasty Treasures)blog and I was just estatic!!
    Today I found you through Donna's blog and I felt the same when I found Donna for the same reason..
    Nice to meet you, Karen!


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