April 27, 2011

Shrimp, Feta Mac and Cheese

With the pasta connoisseur that I am, I can't believe there are only four pasta recipes on this blog. I'm a failure. I must rectify this immediately!

I think the problem is, most of the time I don't follow a recipe when I'm throwing together a pasta dish. Take what we had on Monday night for example.

I cubed up what was left of our roast chicken, sauteed some asparagus, mushrooms, and tomatoes, and threw in some bacon. And of course, I grated some mozzarella cheese. Done. So simple, so easy. My favorite way to make pasta on a weekday.

But today I'm sharing with you a more involved pasta dish. For when you feel like taking the time to make a sauce from scratch and indulge in an epic creation.  

I've made this several times since discovering it on Annie's blog. It has a perfect blend of cheeses, at least, with the ones I use. Gruyere cheese is not in my budget. Sadly. I use frozen pre-cooked shrimp that I warm up quickly in a skillet, pecorino romano cheese, parmesan cheese, and half a cup of peas. I love the crunchy topping made up of panko bread crumbs and feta cheese (did I forget to mention that, there's a third cheese). I've included the original recipe below, as it is wonderful as is. I just tweak it a little bit!

Source: Annie's Eats

1 lb. pasta shapes
1 lb. raw shrimp (31-40 ct.), peeled and deveined, cut in half (if desired)
10 oz. feta cheese, crumbled and divided
Zest of 1 lemon, divided
½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped, divided
5 tbsp. butter, divided
4 tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
2 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
8 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Cook the pasta until al dente according to the package directions. Drain well; set aside.  Add the raw shrimp to the warm pasta and toss together.  The heat from the pasta will partially cook the shrimp.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  In a small bowl, combine a handful of the feta, a pinch of the lemon zest, the panko, 2 teaspoons of the parsley and 1 tablespoon of the butter, melted.  Toss with a fork to combine; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat.  Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour  to form a paste.  Cook 1-2 minutes, whisking constantly, until light golden brown.  Whisk in the milk.  Continue to heat the mixture, stirring frequently, until it bubbles and thickens, about 5 minutes.  As soon as the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat and stir in the remaining feta, Gruyere, remaining parsley, remaining lemon zest, dill, salt and pepper.  Pour the mixture over the pasta and shrimp; toss well to coat.

Transfer the mixture to a lightly greased 2½ or 3-quart baking dish.  Sprinkle the breadcrumb-feta mixture evenly over the top.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbling.  Remove from the oven and let cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

By the way, the hubby took his exam yesterday! Yayyyy!!! He's feeling okay about it, very glad to have gotten it out of the way. We've been spending the day together- enjoyed breakfast at a fabulous place and watched Water for Elephants (!). Love having a day off in the middle of the week! Hope you're having a wonderful Wednesday. :)


  1. This looks so good! Wow! I'd probably throw in chicken instead of shrimp--I don't like the texture of shrimp. I know, I know, I'm missing out.

  2. This sounds amazing! It's a perfect weeknight meal, too. Yum!

  3. Looks delicious! I love new pasta recipes!

  4. I want this right now. The lunch I brought to work is not appealing to me right now. Feta for the win!

  5. Love me some pasta! This just tastes like a great family meal.

  6. This sounds fabulous and with access to fresh Gulf shrimp I think I need to try this recipe.

    Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

  7. I am a huge Mac n Cheese lover.... but my hubby isn't. This would be a recipe to get him to change his mind! Thanks for linking to Saturday Swap!


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