Shrimp Diavolo Alfredo

Up until about two years ago, I was a serious wimp when it came to spicy food. Even a few pickled jalapenos would send me running for a glass of milk with which to cool the agony. After meeting my current SO, things began to change. He had a taste for spicy food, and I wanted to find out what was so great about eating something which I found painful. I gradually began to expand my palate, and as a result, I found my tolerance increasing. After a short while, I was able to eat dishes with spicy ingredients and actually taste them, rather than simply feeling the burn. I discovered that I really enjoyed the flavor of certain peppers and spices, and I have been experimenting with great success.

This is a recipe I developed myself, as a result of having a bag of shrimp around and craving something spicy. Before this, I hadn’t spent much time making sauces with crushed red pepper: normally, if I want to kick something up a few notches, I add a bit of habanero sauce and allow any dairy components to balance out the flavor. Crushed red pepper does not “dilute” in the same way as habanero sauce, and adds a completely different type of spice. As a result, this recipe turned out to be far more intense than I had anticipated… but the flavor is so good that I’ve kept on making it!

A warning to the faint of stomach: the “spicy factor” in this dish is not to be underestimated. My SO eats the most mouth-blistering of Indian delicacies with nary an eyeblink, and even he was impressed with how spicy this was. I have made this recipe with up to 1/4 cup of crushed red pepper, but this is not a modification I recommend to the unprepared. Unless you are really ready for it, stick to 1/8 cup. I promise that it will still blow your socks off.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound penne pasta, cooked according to package directions and drained
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/8 cup crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound shrimp

Directions:

1-melt_butter

In a large pot, heat the butter and olive oil over low heat until the butter is melted.

2-add_flour

Add the flour, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

3-add_seasonings

Stir in the milk, red pepper, paprika,  garlic powder, and dill weed, and raise the heat to medium.

4-milk_shrimp

Add the cream cheese, Parmesan, and shrimp, and cook, stirring, until the cheeses melt and the sauce is heated through.

5-add_pasta

Add the pasta, and stir to coat.

6-finished

Serves 6.

Click here for a print-friendly version.

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