As we continue our efforts to downsize and declutter, I am working on clearing out the freezer. I found a pound of shrimp that needed to be used, but I was at a loss for a recipe. With shrimp, I often make some of our Louisiana favorites like shrimp creole or seafood gumbo. Barbecued shrimp in the style of the famous New Orleans restaurant, Pascal’s Manale, also sounded like an option, but that recipe calls for really large and really fresh shrimp – and a bit more trouble than I wanted. Shrimp and pasta was another choice, but to tell the truth I am a bit tired of tomato sauces, and somehow the combination didn’t seem quite right. I thought of paella, one of my favorites, but maybe substituting pasta for rice would make a good alternative. All of those ruminations made me think of this combination of shrimp and rigatoni without tomatoes and without saffron. My other goal was to make it a truly one-dish meal. For that, I boiled the pasta in fish sauce in the same cast iron pan where the rest of the ingredients would be added. No pasta-boiling pot to clean up. I topped the finished dish with Parmesan – I know, I know, shellfish and cheese are not supposed to go together. Just try it.

So here’s the recipe.


Shrimp and Rigatoni


  • 2 cups fish stock
  • 2 cups dry rigatoni
  • water
  • 4 scallions, sliced diagonally
  • 6 snacking peppers, seeded and sliced into rings
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 1 pound large shrimp, cleaned and peeled
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • Parmesan cheese, grated


  1. In a large sauté pan, bring the fish stock to a boil. Add the rigatoni and just enough water to cover the pasta. Boil for about 10 minutes until the pasta is al dente, adding more water as needed.
  2. Stir in the scallions, peppers, paprika and seasonings and cook at a simmer for about 5 minutes until the peppers are soft. Add the frozen peas.
  3. Stir in the shrimp and cook until the shrimp have become pink and have lost their translucency. Adjust the seasoning, stir in the chopped parsley,  top with grated Parmesan, and serve immediately in bowls.


Filed under Food, Photography, Recipes

5 responses to “SHRIMP AND RIGATONI

  1. So simple! I bet this was fantastic. p.s. I put cheese on my shrimp dishes quit often!

  2. Darryl, how do you keep your cast iron pans seasoned when you cook liquids in them? I hate to do that because it’s so hard to re-season mine.

  3. Hi Diane, welcome back from Italy. About cast iron: I have a friend who uses his heirloom cast iron pan for one thing – frying chicken. I confess that I do a lot of things with cast iron that one is not supposed to do. Usually, when I fry something, I just wipe the pan with a paper towel. Sometimes something sticks and I wash it out with soap and water. But then, I always put it over a hot flame until the pan is dry and smoking hot. At that point, I may wipe the inside of the pan with a paper towel moistened with vegetable oil and heat it until the oil smokes. When the pan has cooled, I wipe off any excess oil. That seems to work to preserve the seasoning.. As to liquids, my main concern is leaching of iron. One African population used to use iron pots to boil everything. Iron overload diseases were endemic. I don’t do that much boiling.

    • (Actually, we haven’t been to Italy yet — leaving in a few days.) Thanks for the pan info. You clearly take better care of your cast irons than I do — let that be a lesson to me!

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