I have two words for you: SHRIMP BUTTER! The majority of shrimp flavor actually comes from the shells, and you can make an sinfully decadent sauce by pureeing whole shrimp (sauteed in cognac and tomato paste) with a healthy amount of butter. The final product is completely smooth and shell free (thanks to a fine mesh strainer). I’ve paired my shrimp butter with these super cute hand shaped sopressine, but any dried pasta will also do the trick! Top it all with spicy lemon breadcrumbs and sliced scallions for a truly special weekend dinner.
- If making fresh pasta, saute the shrimp before making the pasta dough. Make the dough while the shrimp cools (you want them cold before pureeing and adding the butter). While the dough rests, you can puree and strain the butter.
- 1 stick + 1 tbsp butter, room temp
- ½ onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ pound shell on shrimp, unpeeled
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ tsp chili flakes
- ¼ cup cognac or brandy
- Salt and pepper to taste
Spicy Lemon Breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp butter
- ⅓ cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp parmesan
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1 batch fresh egg pasta dough, or ¾-1 pound dry
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
- ½+ cup reserved pasta water
- Splash of fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sliced scallions, for topping
For the shrimp butter
- Heat a pan over medium heat, then add 1 tbsp of butter,
- Add the onions and saute until starting to brown, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the shrimp and let brown on one side, 2-3 minutes.
- Flip the shrimp and let brown on the other side.
- When the shrimp are almost fully cooked, add the tomato paste, chili flakes, and thyme. Saute for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the cognac and saute until the majority is absorbed, scraping up any fond on the bottom of the pan. 1 minute or so.
- Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Let cool.
- When cool, place the shrimp in a food processor and run until as smooth as possible.
- Add one tbsp of butter at a time and continue to run until entirely combined.
- Set a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and, working in batches, force the paste through the strainer. This will remove any larger bits of shells and leave you with a completely smooth and delicious butter. If needed, strain a second time.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
Making the pasta
If using dried pasta, skip to breadcrumbs
- Make the dough according to these directions.
- Wrap tightly in seran wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Cut ¼ of the dough and rewrap the rest in the seran wrap.
- Following the serious eats instructions, roll the dough to about 1.2 mm thick, setting 6 on an atlas 150.
- Cut the sheet into 1.5 inch squares.
- Taking one square at a time, pinch the opposite two corners together, then flip and pinch the other two corners together. See pictures below or this video for details.
- Set on a flour dusted baking sheet.
- Continue the process with the rest of the dough.
For the spicy lemon breadcrumbs
- Heat a small pan over medium low heat and add the butter. Let melt.
- Add the breadcrumbs and saute until starting to brown, about 2 minutes.
- Add the lemon zest, chili flakes, and parmesan and continue to stir until very browned, but not burned. Remove from heat.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Turn a pan onto low and add the shrimp butter, softening it to a thick sauce.
- Cook the pasta until al dente in very salty water (if making sopressine, about 2-3 minutes).
- Drain and reserve 1 cup pasta water.
- Add the pasta to the shrimp butter and stir to combine.
- Add the parmesan and ¼ cup pasta water and stir to combine. Continue to add more pasta water if needed to get to your desired consistency.
- Add a splash of lemon juice.
- Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Split into 4 bowls and top with breadcrumbs and sliced scallions.