Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo

shrimp fettuccine alfredo

The Spruce / Laurel Randolph

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 4 to 5 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
703 Calories
51g Fat
29g Carbs
32g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 5
Amount per serving
Calories 703
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 51g 66%
Saturated Fat 31g 154%
Cholesterol 361mg 120%
Sodium 1353mg 59%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 32g
Vitamin C 5mg 23%
Calcium 392mg 30%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 343mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Few dishes are as wonderfully indulgent as shrimp fettuccine Alfredo. Alfredo sauce as we know it was invented by Alfredo di Lelio at his restaurant in Rome in the mid-1900s, although the authentic Italian version is made simply using butter and Parmesan cheese. While adding cream isn't traditional, it is typical for the American take on Alfredo. Heavy cream gives the sauce an irresistible creamy richness that simply can't be beat.

Fettuccini is the ideal noodle for serving with Alfredo since the flat, long strands cling to the sauce while keeping it evenly distributed. You can use fresh noodles for this recipe—just start boiling them in the last few minutes since they cook quickly. Shrimp adds a meaty, savory element that pairs perfectly with the creamy sauce. For the most sustainable option, look for U.S.-farmed shrimp and avoid imported crustaceans.

Since the pasta cooks at the same time as the sauce, this dish is ready in under 30 minutes flat. It's a rich, creamy pasta that's perfect when you really want to treat yourself and the people you love.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 12 ounces fettuccine

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 3/4 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and patted dry

  • Freshly-ground pepper, to taste

  • 1 large garlic clove, minced or grated

  • 1 1/2 cup finely-grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, egg yolk, and nutmeg. Set aside.

  3. Put a large pot of water on to boil. Once boiling, season generously with salt and add the fettuccine. Stir and cook according to package directions until al dente and drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water.

  4. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and let melt. Add the shrimp in a single layer and cook without moving just until pink on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

  5. Flip the shrimp and add the garlic. Cook until the shrimp is cooked through, another 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the shrimp to a plate and set aside, leaving behind the garlic and butter.

  6. Whisk in the heavy cream and egg yolk mixture, scraping the bottom of the pan. Cook until hot but not boiling, stirring frequently. If needed, keep warm over low heat until the pasta is almost ready.

  7. Once the pasta is almost done, return the heat to medium and add the Parmesan gradually, stirring after each addition until melted. Cook and stir for a few minutes, until slightly thickened.

  8. Once the sauce has thickened a bit and the pasta is drained, add the hot pasta to the sauce and toss until the sauce thoroughly coats the noodles. Taste and season, if needed.

  9. If the sauce is too thick, add the pasta water a splash at a time, tossing after each addition, until the desired consistency is reached.

  10. Add the shrimp back to the pan and toss. Top with the parsley and serve immediately.

Tips

  • To avoid over-cooking, cook the shrimp just until it is pink and opaque. Shrimp cooks in mere minutes and can become rubbery if over-cooked.
  • Putting a pot on to boil at the beginning of the cooking process means your pasta will be ready when you need it and not before. It's better to keep the sauce warm, stirring occasionally, as you wait for the pasta to finish cooking than for the pasta to sit and drain as you finish the sauce, becoming cold and gummy.
  • Note that the sauce will thicken more as it cools a bit. It should be thick enough to coat the noodles without becoming dry.
  • If the butter and cream separate in the pan, just keep whisking. Once you add the Parmesan, it will help bring the sauce together. Just be sure to add it slowly in small amounts, letting it melt each time.

Recipe Variation

Traditional Italian fettuccine Alfredo is made by tossing hot, cooked pasta with butter and finely grated Parmesan cheese, often on a warmed platter. Pasta water can be added as needed to create a silky sauce. The dish is sometimes prepared and served table-side.

How to Store

  • Shrimp fettuccini Alfredo is best served and eaten fresh.
  • Store leftovers in a covered container in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat gradually, adding a splash of cream as needed to loosen up the sauce.
  • Freezing is not recommended since the shrimp can become rubbery and the sauce has a tendency to separate upon defrosting and reheating.

What Is the Difference Between Fettuccine and Alfredo Sauce?

Fettuccine is a pasta shape of long, flat strands. Alfredo is a creamy sauce made primarily of heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. The two are frequently paired together as one dish: fettuccini Alfredo.