SHRIMP AND SPAGHETTI
— 1 pound (ca. 454 g) medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
— 1 tablespoon olive oil
— 1 cup chopped Vidalia or sweet yellow onion
— 1/2 teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), to taste
— 1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian style stewed tomatoes
— 1/2 cup chopped medium sweet bell pepper (red or green)
— 2 toes garlic, chopped
— 1 (10 ounce) can of diced tomatoes with green chilies (like Rotel), undrained
— 1 (24-26 ounce) can your favorite pasta sauce (like Del Monte)
— 2 medium bay leaves
— 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
— 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
— 1 (12-16 ounce) package spaghetti noodles
— Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
— 1/4 teaspoon of dried parsley flakes, optional
Peel and devein shrimp, rinse and drain well and pat dry with paper towels. Spread shrimp out on a large baking pan in a single layer and sprinkle lightly with Cajun seasoning to taste depending on how hot you like it. Set aside.
Add olive oil to a deep skillet and heat to medium. Add chopped onion and bell pepper and sauté until tender. Then add garlic and cook a bit longer, but do not allow garlic to brown, or it will have a bitter taste. Add stewed tomatoes and use a potato masher to break them up. Add diced tomatoes and simmer on low for 15 minutes. And add pasta sauce, bay leaves, basil, and Old Bay; let simmer for another 15 minutes.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add to it 2 to 3 very generous pinches of kosher salt. Add pasta and cook to al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water before draining and set aside. Drain pasta well and set aside.
Add shrimp and parsley to sauce, stir well and cook just until pink and cooked through. Add only enough pasta water to sauce as needed, and only if the sauce has become too thick. Taste the sauce, adding salt and pepper as needed. Combine the pasta with several spoons of the sauce and toss well. Plate individual servings of pasta, top with sauce, crack a bit of fresh black pepper over top and garnish with a sprinkle of parsley.
Thanks heaps for reading, and don’t forget to share this recipe with family and friends.