This is a light and delicious shrimp pasta recipe.
Once you combine the penne pasta, shrimp and peas, you bake it all for a bit to meld the flavors and get a nice crispy top on the pasta.
This recipe for baked penne and shrimp is from the Italian cookbook 250 True Italian Pasta Dishes: Easy and Authentic Recipes by Italian chef and restaurant owner John Coletta. I have been given permission to share it with you here on the site.
The pink shrimp and green peas look colorful and taste good together.
When you slice the shrimp in half vertically, it helps them cook evenly and it is also easier to distribute them throughout the pasta.
Baked Penne with Shrimp and Peas
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, extra-virgin
- 1/4 cup onion, diced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup peas, frozen, defrosted or blanched fresh peas
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, torn
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups shrimp, medium, halved lengthwise peeled, deveined , heads and tails off, (about 12 ounces)
- 1/2 cup wine, dry white Italian
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 pound penne, dried
- 1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs, dry white, divided
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Lightly grease a 13- by 9- by 2-inch (3 L) baking dish with butter.
- In a covered pasta pot over high heat, bring water to a rapid boil.
- In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and tomatoes and cook, stirring, until onion is soft and tender, about 3 minutes. Add peas and basil and cook, stirring, until vegetables are soft and tender, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add shrimp and wine, stir and cook until shrimp are halfcooked (barely opaque). Remove from heat and set aside.
- Add salt and penne to the boiling water and cook, uncovered, over high heat until pasta is almost al dente. Scoop out about 1 cup (250 mL) of the pasta cooking water and set aside. Drain pasta.
- Return sauté pan to low heat. Add 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the reserved pasta water and penne and, using a wooden spoon, toss to coat evenly, adding more pasta water if necessary.
- Sprinkle prepared dish with half of the breadcrumbs. Add penne mixture and sprinkle with remaining breadcrumbs.
- Bake in preheated oven until top is golden brown, about 35 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
Tips and Variations:
- Substitute pennette, cut ziti or fusilli for the penne.
- John likes to use medium (41 to 50 per pound/500 g) shrimp in this recipe. When they are halved lengthwise, they can be evenly distributed throughout the pasta, giving an impression of abundance. However, you may use larger shrimp, also cut in half lengthwise.
- I do not recommend refrigerating this recipe and baking it the following day. It is best made and enjoyed on the same day, because the flavor and texture of seafood diminish when it is reheated.