Prep 45 mins
Cook 30 mins
Tender and sweet, pink shrimp make up the majority of Florida’s wild-caught shrimp and are harvested in the Gulf and southern waters of Florida. Pink shrimp found in the southern Florida waters have light pink shells with a pearl-like texture and some have a distinguishing pink dot on the head. Those found along the northern Gulf coast may have lemon-yellow or brownish shells. When cooked, the shells turn a deeper shade of pink. The meat is white with pink skin tones, firm texture and mild flavor. Florida pinks, or gulf shrimp as they are sometimes called, are the largest Gulf species and can reach 11 inches and can live up to 24 months. The peak harvest season is in the spring (March through May) and the fall (October through December) however they are available fresh and frozen year round. Their feeding ground in the clean coral sand off the west coast of Florida gives them their distinctive color and a sweet, creamy flavor that makes them a favorite with chefs and shrimp lovers world wide.
- 3 cups dried macaroni
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons butter, plus extra for greasing
- 1 cup fennel, chopped
- 1 1⁄2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 1⁄2 cup green onion, sliced
- 1⁄2 lb cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 cups bechamel sauce
- 2⁄3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 large tomatoes, sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil
- salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
- Add salt to a saucepan of water and bring to a boil.
- Add the pasta and 1 tablespoon olive oil and cook until tender, but still firm to the bite.
- Drain and return to the pan.
- Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the pasta. Cover and shake the pan, keep warm.
- Melt the remaining butter in a sauté pan over medium high heat.
- Sauté the fennel for 3-4 minutes or until tender.
- Stir in the mushrooms and sauté for another 2 minutes, add in the shrimp, then remove the pan from the heat.
- Stir in the cayenne pepper and Béchamel sauce to the shrimp mixture.
- Pour macaroni into a greased baking dish and pour shrimp mixture over pasta and stir together.
- Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese over the mixture and arrange the tomato slices around the edge.
- Brush the tomatoes with remaining olive oil and sprinkle basil over the top.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Béchamel sauce:.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat until melted.
- Add the flour and stir until smooth.
- Cook until the mixture turns a light, golden sandy color, about 6 to 7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the milk in a separate pan until just about to boil.
- Add the hot milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth.
- Bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat.
- Season with salt and nutmeg, and set aside until ready to use.
I made this exactly as is, other than, lacking fennel, I used celery. I wasn't sure when to add the green onions, in the end I added them with the shrimp. What an attractive and delicious dish, we felt that this was luxurious comfort food and I'm thrilled to say that I have the leftovers for lunch! I used local shrimp, delicious ..... Thank you, Douglas, this dish was made and enjoyed for Think Pink, 2013