Shrimp fettuccine with chicken, italian sausage, and a tomato-white wine sauce

Monday night I was all alone and, sushi plans having been destroyed, decided to splurge and cook myself a nice dinner. I had been hankering to cook some clams with pasta, and purchased all the necessary ingredients for a wonderful clam dish before ariving at Kroger too late to purchase the clams to go along with it. Devestated, I did a little bit of fast thinking and decided to make it a shrimp dish instead. While I based the recipe on another from Bon Appetit, I changed it so much to make it mostly my own, and I think it probably turned out better than it could have in its original form. (The original is available here: )

Below is the recipe as I cooked it with what I had on hand. I have also included the changes I will make next time in parenthases.

2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (1 pound hot OR 1/2 pound sweet and 1/2 pound hot)
1/2 cup – 1 cup chopped shallots
4-6 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 tsp dried crushed red pepper (1/2 tsp – 1 tsp dried crushed red pepper)
2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes in juice
1/2 cup dried white wine, such as Savignon Blanc
1/2 cup clam juice
2 Tbs white balsamic vinegar (3-4 Tbs white balsamic vinegar)
2-3 pounds shrimp, cooked, shells and tails removed
1 chicken breast, cooked, cut into cubes (3 chicken breasts)
1 package fettuccine pasta
1 cup chopped fresh basil (1.5 – 2 cups chopped basil)

Before I really begin, let me note that I had never cooked shrimp before, and it took me FOREVER to get all those suckers unpealed and deveined. I bought a 5 pound bag of frozen Key West shrimp (something like 16-20 ?? per pound; they weren’t huge but were a pretty decent size) and used a little over half of them. Cooking directions had me boil them in water, then peel them, which I did. I just didn’t count on it taking so long. Still worth the effort, though. I personally don’t understand why people leave tails on shrimp in dishes you eat with a fork when you’re just going to have to pick the shrimp up and bite of the tail (or cut it off I guess), so I just took the tails off after cooking them. Easier to eat.

First I browned the sausage in the olive oil in a large pot. After removing the casings I just put the sausage into the pot whole and then used a fork to mash it up. After browning the sausage for about 10 minutes I added the shallots, garlic, and crushed red pepper, then let everything cook for another 5 minutes. Next I added the wine, then the clam juice, the tomatoes, and then the vinegar and let everything simmer for 6-8 minutes. (Next time I might let it simmer for longer). About the time I started this simmering process I put the pasta in the water to cook (this means I already had my pasta pot boiling). After cooking the paste al dente (5-6 minutes) I added it to the sauce. A few minutes later I added the shrimp and chicken, and then covered and let it simmer for a little under 5 minutes (I had been cooking on medium-high but I turned it down to low at this point). After simmering, I added the chopped basil and stirred to fully incorporate. I served it in a bowl and grated some fresh parmegiano regiano over the top, and paired it with the same wine I cooked with.

As you might have guessed, this made A LOT of food and involves quite a bit of pre-cooking preparation, but, trust me on this, it was well, well worth it. The combination of the vinegar and the clam juice and the wine was phenomenal (having good wine helped), and the brand of tomatoes I bought was very good and just added so well to the sauce. The fettuccine was perfect with it and the shrimp tasted great (I had been worried I had overcooked it). After a bowl I didn’t feel that full so I started to have seconds, but quickly realized that it was more filling than I first expected. The taste really is amazing and I couldn’t keep back the exclamations of excitement I felt while I was eating it. When Jay returned home the next day and tasted it, he said it was better than the food he had at an Italian restaurant the night before.

I’ve been eating on this for a couple of days now and it’s still absolutely delicious. Despite that, there are a few changes I would like to make, like kicking up the spice level slightly, but other than that it was perfect. I would also add more chicken (you could barely tell it was in there), and the only reason I only put one chicken breast in it this time was because it was all I had. Tonight I might cook up some more chicken and throw it in there, or maybe I will actually run across some clams and throw them in. Regardless, it was a very good meal that I originally thought was going to be a disaster.


1 Response to “Shrimp fettuccine with chicken, italian sausage, and a tomato-white wine sauce”

  1. 1 Recipe Revisited « I’m Hungry Trackback on November 20, 2007 at 1:51 pm

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September 2007
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