I’m a huge fan of meals that seem luxurious but only take minutes to prepare. After all, after we become parents life gets brilliantly but exponentially more chaotic, and all we usually have are mere minutes to prepare a meal. We can definitely get caught in the chicken-cutlet spaghetti-and-meatball rut because, well, let’s face it, they’re no-brainers. Well, the other night I broke my family out of their dinner rut with this creamy tarragon shrimp with penne, and boy am I glad I did. It’s creamy, a little spicy, flavorful, and filling. Best thing was, it can be prepared in the time it takes to boil the pasta. We’re talking 8–10 minutes here. TOPS! The kids thought it was mac ‘n’ cheese, and my husband and I felt like we were out on a date night. If you ask me, that’s the perfect marriage of ease and excitement, exactly what every family wants come dinnertime. Enjoy!
Creamy Tarragon Shrimp with Penne
The perfect pasta for a special family dinner that won't take all night to make!
- penne pasta: 1 pound
- olive oil: ¼ cup
- large shrimp, peeled and deveined: 1 pound
- garlic, minced: 2 cloves
- salt: ½ teaspoon
- black pepper: ½ teaspoon
- red pepper flakes*: ¼ teaspoon
- crushed tomatoes: ½ cup
- chicken stock: ½ cup
- heavy cream: ¾ cup
- fresh tarragon, stems removed and coarsely chopped: ¼ cup
Step 1: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente.
Step 2: While pasta is cooking prepare the shrimp sauce. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Step 3: Add shrimp, garlic, salt, and peppers. Cook shrimp on both sides until it just turns pink and the shrimp are opaque, about 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan and place on a plate to rest.
Step 4: Add tomatoes, chicken stock, heavy cream, and tarragon to the same pan you cooked the shrimp in and whisk until combined. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Boil to reduce by 1/3 (basically the time it takes for the pasta to finish cooking).
Step 5: Drain the pasta and add the shrimp and the pasta to the skillet. Toss to coat. Season with additional salt if desired.
*Leave out red pepper flakes for your littlest eaters.
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