Sunday, May 27, 2012

Novel Bites: Shrimp Pesto Fettuccini

Welcome back! I'm so happy you could make it for the second installment of Novel Bites. Today we're going with savory. I'm sure by now you've read all the romantic stories in Whispered Beginnings: A Clever Fiction Anthology and are ready for a date night with your significant other. Nothing says, "I love you" more than a pasta dish a la Lady and the Tramp. But instead of messing with messy meatballs, I thought I'd take you to the ocean with a little Shrimp Pesto Fettuccini. Besides that is the setting for my short story, New Beginnings.

Before we get to the recipe here's a little bite of the story. This will be the last nibble. After all, it is a short story and if you read the bite accompanying  Cherried AwayBrownie Sundae you will have read a quarter of the story. I can't give it all away, you'll have to buy the book. :o)

A Bite of New Beginnings:

Myra walked the grassy path, tears streaming down her face. He had to come home, there was no other option. A life without him was not a life at all, but an empty existence; like a flower bud without the chance to blossom.

Looking to the waves she screamed out his name and fell to her knees. “Please,” she whimpered, “please don’t leave me.” She pulled at her hair, releasing another scream to the sky, before grabbing her chest.

Her heart slammed inside of her, the pain so intense it traveled down her left arm. Wilting into the grass she smiled, now the physical pain matched her emotional ache and the darkness surrounding her matched the emptiness that once was her soul.

I understand without the rest of the story that "bite" doesn't seem very romantic, but trust me you'll want to read the rest. Once you read the rest you'll want to hold on to your loved one and never let 'em go. Now, dry your tears, don your sexiest apron and let's get to cooking, cause we all know the faster you finish the meal, the sooner you get to dessert. ;o)
Shrimp Pesto Fettuccini
1/2 box or bag of Fettuccini
2 Tspn olive oil
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
2 t or 2 cloves of garlic
Red Pepper flakes
1/2 cup white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
1 bunch asparagus
1 lb raw, deveined, de-tailed shrimp (you can use frozen)
1/2 cup Pesto (I used the one with basil)
Shredded Parmesan Cheese (optional)

1. Fix Fettuccini per instructions on package. If using frozen shrimp (like I do, because I live in Oklahoma and don't trust "fresh" shrimp) follow the defrosting instructions on the bag.

2. Place an empty deep skillet on medium heat.

3. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half

4. Pour olive oil into skillet, then add tomatoes. If the oil pops too much, remove from heat while adding the tomatoes. You're not going for crispy here so adding the tomatoes to a sizzling skillet is not necessary. Add salt and pepper.

5. Add your garlic. If you like a lot of garlic you can add more, but I wouldn't go past 3 cloves or teaspoons.

6. Add a few dashes of red pepper flakes. Again, if you like your food spicy you can add more. I'm looking for just a hint of heat so I only added a couple of shakes.

7. Take out a wine glass, pour yourself a glass of the white wine, then add 1/2 a cup to the tomato garlic sauce.

8. Smush (yes that's a culinary term) the tomatoes with a fork.

9. Cut the ends off the asparagus (they can be very fibrous) then chop the rest of the asparagus in diagonal 1/2 inch pieces. You don't have to measure, just think "bite-sized". Not a huge fan of asparagus, use only half the bunch. We like it so I used the whole bunch.

10. Add asparagus to mixture. Let simmer until asparagus is almost done, soft but not limp, roughly 5 to 7 minutes. Stirring occasionally. If you feel your sauce is reducing too much, add just a bit more white wine to your wine glass, then to your sauce.

11. When asparagus is just about finished add the shrimp. Then salt and pepper once more.

12. Add 1/2 cup of pesto. Now you can make your own pesto, it's very easy, but I really like the Buitoni brand so I make it easy on myself and buy it premade. You can find it in the deli refrigerated section at your local supermarket. I got mine at Food Pyramid, but I have also bought it at United.

13. Stir occasionally until shrimp turn from translucent to pink, roughly 5 to 7 minutes. It is easy to overcook shrimp, but just keep an eye on it and you'll do fine.

14. Your fettuccini should be done by now (give it a little taste), strain and place in bowl.

15. Pour your Shrimp Basil sauce over the top and toss.

16. Feel free to add some shredded Parmesan for some cheesy effect.

Now you and your loved one can eat from the same bowl, doing the whole same fettuccini to lips kiss a la Lady and the Tramp as previously mentioned or you can serve in two different bowls. Your choice. Bon Appetit!

Like what you've read, but don't have your own copy of Whispered Beginnings? Go to  and when you purchase your copy I'll donate 10% of every book sale to St. Jude's Research hospital.

Or you can go to and win yourself a copy. Contest is open until Monday, May 29th.