Recipe: Spicy Creole Shrimp with Pasta

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Years ago, I did a cooking class event with a special menu titled “Lunch from the French Quarter.” I taught a gumbo recipe from my book, The Sharper Your Knife. I developed the recipe below based on a dish that I had in New Orleans during a rushed trip to the Crescent City during my first book tour.

Lunch in the French Quarter

Greens with creole mustard vinaigrette
Shrimp, sausage and chicken gumbo
Spicy creole shrimp with pasta
Boubon Banana Foster Crepes


Recipe: Spicy Creole Shrimp with Pasta
Recipe type: Pasta, seafood
Cuisine: Creole/Cajun
Serves: 4 servings
This is a twist on the New Orleans classic of barbecue shrimp, normally cooked with shell on and never actually touches a grill. The result is quite hot; for a milder dish, omit the second round of heat in the fresh pepper. Old Bay is readily available in supermarkets, but if you don't have it on hand, any spicy spice mix will work. Serves six as an appetizer and four as an main. Be sure to serve with lots of warm French bread for dipping in the sauce.
  • 1 ½ pounds shrimp, shells reserved
  • 2 cups of chicken stock or water
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay spice
  • 1 teaspoon thyme or mixed Italian herbs
  • Few pinches of cayenne or red pepper flakes, depending on taste
  • Several cranks black pepper
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small fresh red or jalapeno chili, minced (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup tablespoons of lemon juice
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ⅓ cup chopped parsley
  • 8 oz. of fettuccine or linguine pasta
  1. Take half the shrimp shells and combine with the stock and let simmer at least 10 minutes or until you finish the recipe. Strain and set aside. Boil the pasta according to package directions in highly salted water. Drain without rinsing, and set aside.
  2. Combine the Old Bay, thyme, cayenne, a few cranks of black pepper and shrimp in a bowl, then toss to coat. Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over high heat until a sprinkle of water dances on the surface. Add the shrimp and cook until just pink, about two minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon or tongs to a bowl.
  3. Lower the heat to medium and add the butter. Once it melts, add onion and garlic and sauté until softened, about three minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, the stock and white wine and reduce briefly, about five minutes. Taste, adding salt if needed. Add shrimp and sauté for about a minute. Transfer shrimp and sauce to large bowl filled with prepared pasta, toss with parsley.


About katflinn

Kathleen Flinn is the author of "The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry," "The Kitchen Counter Cooking School" and "Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good." All are published by Viking/Penguin.


  1. what am I suppose to do with the stock I cooked the shells in?

  2. Great blog you got here. I'd like to read more concerning that theme. Thank you for posting this info.

  3. Sorry I didn't get to meet you in NYC last weekend — the conference was great, but seriously crowded! I've put up links to some of the panels (including some that I missed)… and will be posting the rest shortly.At least we can meet via the videos…

  4. Hi D,You add them with the rest white wine, lemon juice et al. I updated the recipe to make that clearer.

  5. I just want to let you know hands down this was the most amazing, most delicious recipe ever!!

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