1 ½ lbs. large Gulf or Mexican shrimp (Indonesian tiger shrimp will give this or anything a weird oily taste)
½ cup white wine, a dry sauvignon or fume blanc is good
1 lb pennette pasta
2 12 oz bags butternut squash chunks
½ to 1 cup heavy cream
2 TBS butter
3 TBS Olive oil
2 TBS honey
Handful of fresh chopped sage
4-6 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped fine
½ cup of reduced shrimp-shell stock or 1 envelope of Swanson’s Chicken Flavor Boost
1/2 cup sharp, aged parmegiano
Salt, pepper, a couple of dashes of good cayenne pepper
I watched Giada make her version of this dish and it just looked too bland. It needed kicking up. So here’s what I did.
Peel, devein and clean shrimp. Soak the shrimp in the wine. Place shells in two cups lightly salted water and simmer down until you have about a cup of shrimp stock. Strain and discard shells and continue simmering stock down to a viscous half cup. It should be have a very concentrated shrimp aroma and taste.
Gently boil one bag of squash in salted water until soft. Drain, season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Add ½ cup heavy cream and puree with stick blender. Add more cream if you’d like a thinner sauce, but I’d wait until you pull everything together to see if it needs it. Cover and set aside.
Preheat oven to 400° Dump the other bag of squash into a baking dish and drizzle with honey with one TBS olive oil. Season and roast for about 20 minutes. Stir squash so it begins to caramelize on all sides and continue roasting until it look beautiful. I like it crunchy.
Cook the pasta in salted water.
Heat butter and remaining olive oil on high. Drain and sauté the shrimp until it begins to caramelize, add the garlic. Just before the garlic begins to brown add more wine if you like and the shrimp stock. Simmer it down a bit before adding the squash puree. Heat, stirring until all the shrimp are coated. Chop a quantity of fresh sage (other recipes call for basil, but I think sage and squash are a cute couple) and sprinkle over the shrimp. Add the hot pasta to the pan, stir until coated. Pour into serving dish and sprinkle with parmesan and then the roasted squash.