This shrimp fettuccine dish is like a sultry song that seeps into your soul and warms you up all over. It’s perfect for a date night in, or for any night ending in the letter “y.”
I love pasta. I can’t quit, won’t quit pasta.
In college, my sorority sisters (my little liberal arts college sorority was NOT the typical large school kind of sorority, I feel compelled to explain here) entered me into a talent competition. My talent: eating a pound of pasta in one sitting.
I weighed less than 100 pounds at the time (don’t freak out: I’m 4’11”) and I loved to eat back then as much as I love to eat now. And pasta? Pasta was my soul food.
So I sat on that stage and ate a pound of pasta while the other acts went on in the middle of the stage next to me.
I tied for second place.
Because, come on: who in their right mind can (and would) eat a whole pound of pasta in one sitting? I can, and I DID.
So let’s talk about this pasta dish. It came about because I wanted to make penne alla vodka but didn’t have penne and also, I don’t do heavy whipping cream anymore.
But I had fettuccine, tomatoes, vodka, and shrimp, and this luscious little deliciously devil of a dish is the result.
The canned stewed tomatoes give this dish a nice rich, deep, simulated slow-cooked tomato flavor, versus using regular canned diced tomatoes, which would give this dish a brighter flavor.
I used frozen shrimp, which I thawed prior to including in this dish, but you can use raw shrimp as well; just be sure to adjust your cooking time as noted in the recipe.
If you don’t like shrimp, you can easily make this without and have it as a vegetarian pasta. As for chicken or pork, I honestly don’t think it would be the same with any other meat. It might, however, be delicious with meatballs. If you try that, please do let me know how it tasted!
This pasta comes together fairly quickly, so it’s a great meal to make on a busy weeknight, but it’s also hearty and special enough to grace your big family Sunday supper table too.
- 12 ounces fettuccine
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 cups onion
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 28- ounce can stewed tomatoes or 2 14.5 ounce cans
- 1/4 cup vodka
- 1/2 cup 2%/lowfat/or skim milk - OR non-dairy milk of your choice I use almond milk
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 pound shrimp deveined, peeled
- Optional garnish: 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley and/or freshly grated parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- Begin to boil the pasta water in a large stockpot and cook according to package directions.
- Melt butter in a separate large pot over medium-high heat and saute the onions and garlic until softened, which takes about 4-5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes to the pot and stir. Slowly add the vodka, the milk or non-dairy milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest, stirring gently as you add each ingredient.
- Bring heat to high and bring the water to a boil, then lower heat to low-medium and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Add shrimp to the sauce. If you are using raw shrimp, you'll need to cook it in the simmering pasta sauce for another 5-7 minutes, until it's just cooked. If you are using thawed, fully cooked shrimp, you'll just need to let it heat up and mix in with the sauce for about 3 minutes.
- Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and gently fold the pasta into sauce until it's nicely covered in sauce.
- Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and/or freshly grated parmesan cheese.
What type of pasta sauce do you prefer? Are you a white cream sauce kind of guy/gal? Or do you prefer to go big and bold with a red tomato-based sauce?