Thursday, February 4, 2010

Shrimp Pasta a la Diable

Driven by my success with the pork loin "a la diable" last week, I continued to experiment with Turmeric and it's subtle floral notes and beautiful golden color.  As part of my weekly shopping and menu planning, I picked up some raw peel-and-eat shrimp for a good price.  They come with the shells on but veined.  I poached the shrimp and reduced the cooking liquid to get it ready for a sauce.  I held the shrimp in the poaching liquid to intensify the flavor overnight in the fridge. All I had to do tonight was make the sauce and cook the pasta. I gave the whole thing a little dash of spice with some Tabasco sauce and a tang with mustard in the "diable" style.  The results were delicious and we ate up every bite!

Shrimp Pasta a la Diable

1/2 pound shrimp in the shell
1 cup cooked angel hair pasta

for the court bouillon:
1 cup dry white vermouth
3 cups water
2 stalks celery roughly chopped
1/2 yellow onion roughly chopped
2 Parmesan rinds
6 peppercorns
1/4 cup salt
2 sprigs taragon
2 sprigs thyme

for the sauce:
1/2 cup cream
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 to 2 teaspoons Tabasco
1/4 cup sliced scallions
  1. Prepare a court bouillon by combining water, celery, onion, peppercorns, salt, parmesan rinds, thyme, tarragon, and vermouth in a sturdy sauce pan.  Bring the ingredients to a simmer and hold for about 20 minutes to maximize the flavors of the herbs and aromatics.
  2. Add the shrimp in the shells and cook just until pink.  Remove the shrimp and peel, saving the shells.  Set the shrimp aside and add the peels back to the poaching liquid.  Reduce by half and reserve 1 cup of the poaching liquid for the sauce.
  3. Heat EVOO in a large skillet until the oil shimmers.  Sear the shrimp until slightly browned and remove for later use.
  4. Sauté shallots and garlic in the skillet until shallots are translucent but not brown over medium high heat, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add butter and flour to the pan and whisk together to make a roux.
  6. Add 1 cup poaching liquid to the pan and bring to a boil.  Add cream, turmeric, mustard, and parsley, and Tabasco to taste.  Simmer the sauce until it has thickened to the desired consistency. Correct seasoning with salt and pepper. 
  7. Toss the cooked pasta in the resulting sauce and plate on warmed pasta bowls.
  8. Place the seared shrimp on top.  They will be heated by the pasta and sauce.
  9. Garnish with chopped scallions and serve immediately.
With Wine:  Try and dry full bodied white like and Alsace Pinot Blanc, or a Vermentino from Sardinia.  The red apple flavors will balance out the subtle spiciness of the sauce and the weight of the wine will hold up to the cream sauce.  For a red, try a Grenache based Southern Rhone like a Gigondas, Pinot Noir from New Zealand, or a Cru Beaujolais for a similar effect.

Bon appétit!


  1. This looks fantastic- and a really unique way to use the shrimp! Did you end up with the Maine Shrimp? They look like them! Ill have to give this way of poaching shrimp a shot in the very near future :-)

  2. wow thanks! the maine shrimp are delicious, but these are just garden variety. let me know how it turns out for you.

  3. What a tasty looking way to prepare shrimp. I am a fan of turmeric and I love to see a recipe that uses Parmesan rinds. It justifies my resistance whenever my husband tries to through out the rinds.

  4. thanks for the compliment! parm rinds add so much flavor to stocks. you've got to keep your husband out of the kitchen!

  5. oh wow looks great love the color Rebecca