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July 30 2012 / Emily

Fettuccine with shrimp, broccoli and tomatoes

Over the past few days I’ve been trying to catch up on my friend & colleague Deepa’s new blog: Run Strong, Not Pretty.  For some reason I forgot to subscribe to it after first seeing it, so I missed a lot of posts.  Check it out for yourself.  One recipe that caught my eye was her Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo.  I enjoy shrimp but never eat it at home, so I figured I’d take it as inspiration and whip up my own similar dish.  I wasn’t really feeling the alfredo though, so I went a different direction.

Fettuccine with shrimp, broccoli and tomatoes


1 box fettuccine noodles
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 bag frozen broccoli florets
1 package frozen cooked shrimp
shredded parmesan cheese, to taste
black pepper, to taste

Obviously you can use fresh versions of any item here, I just went for the ease of prepared items.


Start your pasta water to boil.  I added some salt into my big pot of water to help it along.

Meanwhile, thaw (or cook, if you’re starting with raw) your shrimp according to the package instructions.  Mine were to place the shrimp in cold water for 20 minutes then rinse in a colander.

thawing in the refrigerator

Now put your noodles in to boil, again according to package instructions.  Mine recommended 12 minutes for “perfect al dente taste.”

Near the end of the noodle boiling time, I poured the whole bag of frozen broccoli in with the noodles to thaw out.

When the fettuccine is cooked through and the broccoli is thawed, drain them using a colander.

this will probably leave broccoli bits all over your sink.

Return the noodles and broccoli to the pan, and turn the heat off.  There should be enough leftover heat in the pan and on the burner, but if you have a better stove than mine, it will probably cool off more quickly so you might want to put on a low heat.

Pour two cans of diced tomatoes into the pan and mix through.  Let these heat up.

it’s getting colorful!

Now, if you were serving a larger group or had thawed all your shrimp, you could probably mix in the thawed and rinsed shrimp now, but I only thawed 2 servings worth so I added them at the end.

So, any way you please, add your shrimp and let those heat through.  I’ll admit the microwave was involved in mine heating up.

Sprinkle some shredded parmesan and black pepper on top, to taste.

Serve and enjoy!

dinner is served… watch out for poachers!

Now here’s where my “fancy cooking” falls apart.  I don’t think red wine and shrimp go together.  But the white I had open is too sweet to drink with dinner, and I didn’t want to open a drier white so red sounded like a good choice.  Whether it paired appropriately, I don’t care, it was delicious.

I also don’t think shrimp and cheese are usually combined.  Most seafood and cheese, for that matter.  But most of my seafood consumption comes from sushi, so there’s obviously no cheese there.  But pasta and cheese go together for me, so I went with the parmesan and enjoyed the heck out of it.

Also, the fettuccine stuck together something wicked.  I don’t think I’ve ever cooked this kind of noodle before.  I tend to have a lot of macaroni, rotini and bowtie pasta.  For long noodles, it is spaghetti or lasagna. While lasagna is its own challenge, I’ve never had so many noodles stick together as I did with this.  I did just dump it in the pan and wander away for a while before stirring, which I’m sure didn’t help.  I think I’ve read that adding a splash of olive oil on top of the water before adding the pasta is supposed to help keep it from sticking.  So I ended up needing to cook it a little longer than 12 minutes because some ends of the noodles were stuck together and hadn’t cooked through.

Basically I’m having trouble dealing with the fact that I sort of failed at making pasta.  Really though, I thought it turned out well for something I threw together half-assed after some great inspiration!

Have you ever had pasta problems?  Sticky noodles?  What tricks do you recommend?



Leave a Comment
  1. hinsone / Jul 30 2012 8:55 PM

    Pasta is tricky… for something that’s “supposedly” easy. I will say the oil is useless.. it just floats on the water, and then if some does get on the pasta the sauce doesn’t stick. (You didn’t use “sauce” per se but same idea). I think a lot of the old food rules have gone out the window. I think fettucini and clams usually has cheese but I could be wrong. Also the wine thing is out the window too…. (especially in restaurants) they figured out they sell more if they let you drink what you want. Don’t like red wine, but we refuse to serve you a Chardonnay with your steak? Well that’s a 12$ glass of wine we didn’t sell and now you get mad and don’t come back. So drink what you like!

    Does Deepa have a subscription now? I tried to add mine and it wasn’t working and she said she was working on it.. guess I’ve missed a bunch of posts too.. oops!

    • Emily / Jul 30 2012 11:14 PM

      I cook a metric shitton of macaroni and small pastas, and have never had a problem before. I blame the long flat noodle. Silly. I won’t try the oil idea then, thanks for debunking that. And I don’t think I’ve seen a restaurant deny someone a drink that didn’t “go,” I just acknowledge being a total noob regarding proper pairing. I’ll keep drinking what I like, but I might feel silly about it now and then!

      I “subscribed” by adding her blog to my rss feed, so not quite the same as subscribing to get it in my email. Serves the same purpose for me though. She has been a busy blogger!

  2. laurenquartz / Jul 31 2012 7:47 AM

    We had pasta with shrimp last night too! Must have been something in the air…

    As far as pasta, really the best way I’ve found to keep it from sticking is to stir it fairly consistently as it’s cooking. The olive oil doesn’t help too much as it’s cooking, but it does keep pasta from sticking when you take it out of the pot, which is nice if you can’t put your sauce on it right away.

    • Emily / Aug 1 2012 10:54 AM

      Better watch out if there are shrimp in the air! 😉 I guess I’ll just be a more attentive cook. Not stirring for 5-8 minutes isn’t okay! Okay you’re right, now that I’m thinking back, the tip on the oil was more for afterwards, like if you’re cooling it for pasta salad. I usually have lots of extra pasta to eat from for a few days so I may need to try the oil once to see if I can find a balance between sticky pasta, and something the sauce won’t stay on.

  3. Deepa Reddy / Aug 1 2012 10:47 AM

    I think I like your version better! The addition of broccoli & tomatoes were an inspired touch! And love the shot with Fry. That is one cool cat!

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