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White Shrimp Boot Pasta

This is a hearty, wintertime dish made with the basic ingredients of Italian pasta fagioli soup, but a bit more substantial in texture, and ingredients that give it a rural Louisiana flavor. Eating something like this will make you feel you’re in a fishing camp.

  • 2 Tbs. rendered bacon or ham fat
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh garlic
  • cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 chopped green onion
  • 1/2 roasted red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 lb. sliced ham, chopped
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, shredded
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 2 cups cooked but firm white beans
  • 1/2 lb. medium-small peeled shrimp
  • 1 1/2 tbs. salt-free Creole seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 lb. shell pasta, cooked and drained
  • 20 sprigs parsley, chopped

1. Heat the bacon fat and olive oil together in a large skillet. Add garlic, mushrooms, green onions, and roasted peppers, and saute till all are soft.

2. Add the ham, basil, crushed red pepper, white beans, shrimp, Creole seasoning, salt and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and toss with the saucepan ingredients until well mixed and heated through.

3. Serve in a soup bowl with chopped flat-leaf parsley. Parmesan cheese is optional.

Serves four.

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