Times are changing, my nest has recently become empty and I now only need to make meals for two.  My boys have both tested their independence at different times but also returned for a while.  This time feels more permanent somehow.  While Josh moved across town to his own place, Cameron made a move across country leaving me with a range of emotions.  With only having two to cook for, my habits will have to change.  I’m going to try to cut down my recipes to fit two people and also try to create more simple and frugal recipes that Josh and Cam can make.  This shrimp pasta is a good recipe to start with.  It makes a great meal for 2 – 3 people. And if shrimp is a little pricey for your wallet, boneless chicken breast or thighs would be a good alternative.  In the time it takes to boil pasta, you can make a lemon cream sauce that tastes just like you ordered it from a restaurant.  Serve alongside a garden salad and a hunk of french artisan bread and you’ve got a complete and flavorful meal!


Get the pasta boiling according to package directions, any pasta will do.  While that’s going melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet.


Sprinkle shrimp with a spice blend of your choice, (I used Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning). Lay the shrimp single file in the hot buttered skillet.  Sear shrimp until they just begin to turn pink on the bottom.  Takes about a minute or two.


Then flip them over to sear another minute or two. Try not to overcook them, they should be pink and tender on both sides. When they are done, remove from pan and set on a warming plate.


To make the lemon cream sauce, either wipe the skillet clean after you’ve cooked the shrimp or get out a new skillet and melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the pan.


I used a microplane hand grater to grate 1 large clove of garlic and zest half a lemon.  Add both to the pan and stir.  You’ll have to follow along without pics as my lighting became and issue. Stir the garlic and lemon zest for a minute or so until they become aromatic then add a splash of wine (about 2 – 3 tablespoons) and the juice of 1/2 lemon.


Next add 1/2 cup of heavy cream, a teaspoon of Aleppo pepper and dried parsley, salt and pepper to taste.  I would have added fresh parsley but my herb patch has already been hit by an early frost so dried herbs will have to do. Stir the sauce over medium high heat as it begins to thicken.


Parmesan cheese is optional, about 1/4 cup will do.  I wanted the sauce to be more about the lemon than just a cheese sauce.  Stir into the sauce while it melts.


Your pasta should be just about done by now. Toss the shrimp back into the lemon cream sauce. I like to reserve a few of the shrimp to top the pasta when serving.  It makes the dish more eye appealing.


Drain the pasta and place in a serving bowl.  Pour the lemon cream sauce with the shrimp over top and place the reserved shrimp around the top.  Garnish with a little fresh parsley or thinly sliced green onion.  Feel free to double the recipe . . .


Cajun Shrimp and Pasta with Lemon Cream Sauce

1/2 lb  Pasta, (I used Linguine)
1/2 lb large Shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
Cajun Seasoning (I used Tony Chachere’s)
3 tablespoons Butter, divided
Zest of 1/2 Lemon
1 – 2 cloves Garlic, grated on a microplane grater
2 – 3 tablespoons White Wine
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1 teaspoon Dry Parsley
1 teaspoon Aleppo Pepper, (if using hotter red chile flakes reduce to 1/2 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
Salt to taste
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated (optional)
Roughly chopped fresh Parsley or thinly slice Green Onions as garnish

Boil water for pasta and cook according to package directions.  In a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium high heat.  Sprinkle shrimp with seasoning and lay the shrimp in the hot pan single file.  Sear the shrimp 1 – 2 minutes until they begin to turn pink on the bottom.  Then flip the shrimp over to sear another minute or two.  They should be pink but tender.  Remove from hot skillet and transfer to a warming plate.  **If you are making a larger amount and have more shrimp to sear, add another tablespoon of butter to the hot pan before adding the next batch of shrimp.

In another skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat.  Add the grated garlic and lemon zest.  Stir the pan a minute or two while the garlic becomes aromatic. Pour in the white wine and scrape the bottom of the pan.  Add the lemon juice, heavy cream, parsley, Aleppo pepper, and black pepper.  Salt to taste.  Add the parmesan cheese to the sauce and stir as it begins to thicken.  When thickened turn off the heat and add half of the shrimp back into the sauce.

Drain the pasta when done and serve in a medium bowl.  Pour the sauce with the shrimp over the pasta and add the remaining shrimp on top.  Sprinkle fresh parsley or green onions over top to garnish.

Serve with a side salad and artisan french bread.

Serves 2 – 3