Bistro Shrimp Pasta
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Bistro shrimp pasta is spaghettini tossed in a creamy lemon-garlic sauce with sautéed mushrooms and tomatoes, crispy shrimp, and fresh arugula. This is a copycat recipe for The Cheesecake Factory’s Bistro Shrimp Pasta. It’s been lightened up so that it has the same flavors without the 3,000 calories! Your whole family is going to love this!
In my perfect world, I would have Cheesecake Factory’s Bistro Shrimp Pasta all the time. And when I say all the time, I mean all. the. time. As is breakfast, lunch, and dinner, 365 days out of the year. And I probably still wouldn’t get enough! Too bad it’s not a perfect world and too bad my pants don’t have magic seams that let themselves out as needed. Nor do I want that. No… No. That’s bad. Definitely bad.
I’ve made this recipe quite a few times. And even though it was an instant hit in our house, I’ve tweaked it a bit every time to cut the fat and simplify the ingredients. Because nobody needs 3,000 calories. And gosh golly, I’ve done it! The spaghettini is tossed in the lemon-garlic sauce, fresh sautéed veggies and crispy shrimp. And a big healthy sprinkling of grated parmesan or two. I’m not counting.
It is the epitome of summer pasta that’ll have you feeling the sun in no time!
I will say that this recipe will take you the entire 40 minutes to make. But it’s totally worth it. Like every single bite is worth 40 minutes of work. Really. But I understand sometimes, it’s just not possible. I’ll give you a few shortcuts along the way to speed things up, not to worry!
Let’s break down each component so that it’s easy for you to follow at home.
For the shrimp: You want to get large shrimp (the 31-40 in a pound). Purchase the clean, deveined variety. Remove the tails or leave them on. Totally up to you. Beat an egg white and toss the shrimp in the egg whites until all the shrimp are evenly coated. In a medium bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and cornstarch. Roll each individual shrimp in the mixture and fry the shrimp in a skillet for about a minute on each side or until lightly golden brown. Remove and place on a plate lined with a paper towel.
If you want an even lighter version of the recipe, purchase cooked boiled shrimp. They’re available in the frozen seafood section. Just defrost and toss along with the veggies, pasta, and sauce. The other option is, purchasing 1 pound of frozen popcorn shrimp. Bake them in the oven or fry them and toss with the other ingredients. Even though this option doesn’t make it any lower in fat, it’s the perfect way to make this meal even quicker!
The Cheesecake Factory’s Bistro shrimp pasta has the battered version I showed you how to make above. I say, you can’t go wrong! Choose the shrimp option that works best for you.
For the creamy lemon-garlic sauce:In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice, lemon zest, and cornstarch. Whisk until all the lumps have been worked out. You’re going to add this to the sauce to thicken it later. Heat the butter and olive oil in a small saucepan, sauté the garlic for a few minutes. Add the chicken broth and half and half. Bring the sauce to a light simmer and let it reduce by a quarter before adding in the lemon juice mixture. Add the mixture slowly while you whisk. It’s important to whisk when adding because you don’t want the sauce to separate. Season it with salt as needed, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Turn the stove off. If you’re planning on serving it right away, add the chopped basil and give it a good stir.
I made this recipe lighter by using fat free half and half. Obviously CF version of the bistro shrimp pasta didn’t get to 3,000 calories by making it that way! Using regular half and half makes this recipe even more luxurious! I’ve tried it both ways, and even though the regular version is to die for, it’s simply not realistic all the time.
In a large bowl, toss the cooked spaghettini with the sautéed mushrooms and tomatoes. Add the arugula and toss until all the ingredients have been combined. The heat from the mushrooms and tomatoes helps wilt the arugula. Add half of the sauce and give it a gentle toss. This allows the pasta to absorb some of it. I like to spoon the rest of the sauce once the pasta is plated. Plate the pasta, add 5 – 6 pieces of shrimp per person and drizzle the sauce over the top. Add a few pinches of grated parmesan and that’s it!
Serve with a fresh side salad and you’ve got a 5 star meal ready at home in no time! Who says homemade versions of your restaurant favorite can’t taste just as good? Clearly they need to give this recipe a try! Bistro shrimp pasta is sure to please anyone and everyone!
For the shrimp:
- 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
- 1 egg white, beaten
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch (or arrow root powder)
- 6 tablespoons italian breadcrumbs
- Oil for frying
For the creamy lemon-garlic sauce:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup half and half (regular or fat free)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice + 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 5 basil leaves, julienned
For the pasta:
- 12 oz. spaghettini, prepared according to package directions
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1.5 cups (6 oz) Crimini or button mushrooms, quartered
- 1 cup (5 oz) grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup packed arugula
- shrimp: Set a skillet on medium heat, add enough oil for frying, at least 2 inches. In a medium bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, salt, and cornstarch. In another medium bowl combine the shrimp and the egg white and toss to coat. Dip each individual shrimp in the breadcrumbs and fry in the oil. Fry in oil for 1 minute on each side or until light golden brown. Remove to a plate that's covered with a paper towel. Set aside for later use.
- For the sauce: In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, and cornstarch, whisk to work out any lumps. Set aside. Heat the butter and olive oil in a 1 quart saucepan. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and half and half. Bring to a simmer and let the sauce reduce by 1/4. Whisk the half and half mixture while slowly adding in the cornstarch slurry. Once added continue to whisk until thoroughly combined. Let sauce reduce again by 1/4. Add black pepper, red pepper flakes and season with additional salt if needed. Add the basil just before serving.
- For the pasta: In a medium skillet heat the olive oil and sauté the mushrooms for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and continue to cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- In a large pot or bowl, toss the cooked spaghettini, mushroom/tomato mixture, arugula, and half of the sauce. Using two large spoons toss until all ingredients have been combined. When ready to serve, spoon pasta mixture into plate, top with 5 - 6 shrimps per person and drizzle remaining sauce over each individual serving. You can also serve this family style by following the same steps on a larger platter.
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