My Favorite Rustic Pasta with Shrimp and Chicken

Fall is all about comfort food. Temperatures dipping, termination dust creeping down the mountains, football, a warm blanket with a cozy fire…and my absolute favorite dish of pasta: It doesn’t get much better than that.

Fall means warm comfort foods with a serious rustic flair.  Good pasta fits that bill perfectly!   Especially when it includes ingredients like shrimp, chicken, fresh mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, and of course cheese.  Add in a little heat, and this dish is complete!

Rustic Pasta: Spicy Shrimp and Chicken

Jeff came across a recipe a while back that is similar to a Spicy Shrimp and Chicken dish that we used to get at one of our favorite Idaho restaurants, Johnny Carino’s back in the day.  With a few of his genius modifications, it is the BEST pasta recipe we have made at home.  Big bonus?…It’s not that hard to make!  Very simple…very delicious!

And while this recipe shows photos of us cooking in a non-enameled Dutch oven indoors, that definitely isn’t a requirement.  We bring the Dutch oven indoors frequently.  I’m also a big fan of my indoor cast iron enameled Dutch oven and normally use it for this type of dish for the nice even, consistent heat; but go with the nice deeper, sturdy pan you’ve got.  (BTW, this recipe can easily be done over a campfire with a Dutch oven if you precook your noodles and set them aside while preparing the sauce.)

One final tip:  As always, don’t overcook the shrimp.

Rustic Pasta with shrimp and chicken

Recipe for Rustic Pasta


Rustic Pasta with Shrimp and Chicken

Rustic Pasta with Shrimp and Chicken

Penne Pasta mixed with a creamy, cheesy sauce, shrimp, chicken, fresh mushrooms, and just a little heat!

  • Author: Janet Bowman
  • Prep Time: 5-10 min.
  • Cook Time: 15-20 min.
  • Total Time: 20-30 min.
  • Yield: 6-8 servings. 1x
  • Category: Seafood
  • Method: Comfort Classic



  • 2 Tbsp. melted Butter
  • 10 Medium Shrimp (raw), tail off, peeled and cleaned
  • 28oz Chicken Breast
  • 3 c. sliced Mushrooms
  • 1 c. Sun-dried Tomatoes
  • 1 c. sliced Green Onions
  • 2 c. Heavy Cream
  • 3/4 c. Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated
  • Cayenne Pepper to taste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 20 oz Penne Pasta, dry



  1. Grill chicken until done.  Cool slightly and cut up to desired size.
  2. Prep mushrooms and green onions; grate cheese.
  3. Heat pan (Dutch oven, wok, or sturdy skillet) to medium heat, add butter and melt.
  4. Once butter is melted, add shrimp, green onions and mushrooms to cook slightly (~1 minute).
  5. Then add chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, salt and pepper; cook until shrimp is just done (usually 2-4 minutes, being careful not to over cook as it will cook further as sauce is reduced).
  6. Add heavy cream, grated cheese, and cayenne pepper (start with about 1/4 tsp. and increase from there to desired spice level.  You can always add, but you can’t take away).
  7. Stirring frequently, cook until the cream reduces by about half.
  8. While reducing, cook pasta per directions on box, then drain.  (This may be done in advance for a “one pot” dish, just cover to keep warm)
  9. When sauce is complete, stir in pasta until completely coated.  Serve it up with a little bit of grated cheese, and voila, pasta perfection!


  • If you have non-seafood eaters, get creative with your meats.  Cooked sausage, varied seafood like salmon or scallops, or even good beef works well.
  • This makes a big batch and any leftovers taste amazing the next day.

Keywords: Rustic Pasta, Shrimp, Chicken

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