Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fettucine with Shrimp, Mushrooms, Spinach and Cashews

LUCY BURDETTE: (Whew, that's a mouthful for a name, isn't it? If anyone has a better suggestion, I'm happy to take it!)

In my May release from the Key West food critic mystery series, TOPPED CHEF, one of the contestants makes shrimp and grits as his specialty dish for the first leg of the contest. However, he tells the audience that Key West has a secret weapon--Key West pinks. This is really true. Also known as "Tortugas" named after the region where they are caught, the shrimp are local and fresh and a lovely light pink color that really steals the show. Now I'm spoiled: I hate to use anything else.

Here's a tasty, easy dish that shows any fresh shrimp to their best advantage.


8 oz Baby Bella mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced
3/4 pound Key West pinks, shelled, deveined, rinsed and patted dry
8-10 oz fresh spinach, washed and roughly chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 large clove garlic, chopped 

Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup broken cashews
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
2/3 box linguine or fettuccine

3 tbsp butter

Mix together in a glass bowl the chicken broth, cornstarch, red pepper flakes, and lemon, and set that aside.

In a large frying pan, saute the mushrooms in the butter until they release their liquid and begin to gently brown. Set those mushrooms aside. Melt another tablespoon of butter and add the cleaned shrimp, the garlic, and the cashews and stir fry until the shrimp are barely pink. Add the mushrooms and the liquid to the pan and simmer until slightly thickened. (Let's say 3 or 4 minutes.) Add the spinach and stir.

At this point, you can put a pot of water on the stove to heat, grab a Red Stripe beer or a glass of wine and watch the sun go down. 


Once the water boils, cook the pasta until tender, then dump it into a large bowl. Warm the shrimp mixture, add to the pasta, gently mix it all together. Add the grated parmesan on top and serve! 

TOPPED CHEF will be out in May! But you can pre-order the book today. And then please follow Lucy on Twitter,  Facebook, and Pinterest too.  


  1. Lucy, how beautiful is this place! Wow. And the dish. I adore shrimp. Key West Pinks. Such a cute name. Thanks for sharing!

    ~Avery / Daryl

  2. Looks delicious and healthy, Lucy, I love the "Key West pinks" story, and that final sunset photo is gorgeous--wish I were on that sailboat! :)

    ~ Cleo

    1. Cleo, there are sunset cruises that go out every night. You just have to be sure not to pick the one with the loud, discordant, live band:)

  3. Looks great! If only I could convince my husband to eat spinach.

    1. Hmmm, well, would he consider kale? Or chard? Probably not, right? You could make it without, but the spinach makes it so colorful and healthy...

  4. You hit the nail on the head with this one! We love all the ingredients and I am not going to print it out.

    We will imagine we're in Key West when we make it.

    Thanks, Lucy/Roberta.

    1. Hope you enjoy it MJ! Hope you get a burst of warmth and sunshine as you eat it...

  5. Ooh, that looks very yummy. I love all of these ingredients. Must try it out soon!

  6. Lucy Burdette's Tortuga Pasta. How's that for a name? I love this. Every single thing from beginning to end. Yum, yum, yum. And I have to say that I usually buy Key West Pink shrimp!

    ~ Krista

  7. Looks delicious. Will have to substitute the type of shrimp though (not living in wonderful Key West) and will use kamut fettuccine.
    Looking forward to book #3, too!

  8. Fettucine is my favorite and I've never tasted with shrimp and mushrooms.Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe. Hope this weekend my kitchen is spreaded with this yummy smell.

  9. That does look REALLY good. I like the name "Fettuccine SMASH" (for the shrimp, mushrooms, and spinach - and taking liberties with the "h" in "cashew"), or "SMASH Fettuccine".

    I also like "Fettuccine Shoes", after the "shew" "cashew". I guess there should be more cashews to make this one make sense. Of course, I've always loved nonsense!

    1. thanks for the ideas Christi--either way, guests would wonder what they're getting for supper, wouldn't they? :)