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Baked Shrimp and Lobster Penna Pasta

New Years Eve is my wedding anniversary. Since my husband and I are parents of a two year old, it quite difficult to find a babysitter on NYE night so I make dinner for us. This year I made a Baked Shrimp and Lobster Penne Pasta for us. It was soooooooooo delicious! I used the base of my Mac and cheese recipe but added garlic powder and mild and sharp white cheese instead of yellow cheddar cheese. I topped the pasta with buttered bread crumbs and baked it in the oven for about  25 mins in my cast iron skillet. You could bake it in a Pyrex dish but I just love any excuse to use my cast iron skillet. If you have a special occasion coming up, give this recipe a try and let me know if your significant other enjoys it as much as my hubby did! 

Serves 6 

For the sauce 

4 tablespoon of cornstarch 

2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of black pepper 

1/ 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder 

5 cups of milk 

4 tablespoons of butter 

1 box of penne pasta 

2 8oz bags of mild white cheddar cheese

1 8oz bag of sharp white cheddar cheese 

For the seafood 

1 bag of large peeled and deveined shrimp 

5-6 small lobster tails 

1 shallot diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced 

Creole seasoning to taste 

Salt and pepper to taste 

Panko Breadcrumb topping 

1 cup of Panko breadcrumbs 

3 tablespoons of melted butter 

1. Cook penne pasta in boiling water with salt and a little olive oil until tender. Drain and set aside while you make the sauce. 2. Combine corn starch, salt, garlic powder and pepper in in large nonstick Dutch oven. Stir in a little bit of milk and whisk with dry ingredients until you no longer see lumps then add the rest of the milk. Add butter. 3. Whisk constantly, bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for 3-5 minutes. It's very important that you stir constantly so it doesnt burn, do not skip this step! After the mixture has boiled for a few minutes and is thickened, remove from heat. **You are looking for the sauce to thicken up before adding the cheese** 4. Stir in cheese until melted. 5. Add penne pasta to cheese mixture and stir to combine. You may not need all the penne pasta. Use your judgement on if you need all the pasta. I didn’t use it all for my dish. Once combined, set aside. 

6. In another skillet, sauté garlic and shallots until softened in two tablespoons of butter. 

7.  Add seasoned seafood to the skillet and cook until pink. Remove for skillet and remove any access liquid before mixing into cheese sauce. 

8. Combine seafood with cheese and pasta and stir until combined.  6.Turn into buttered 9x13 casserole dish or an ungreased cast iron skillet. Combine melted butter well with breadcrumbs and then sprinkle buttered breadcrumbs on top of pasta.  7. Bake uncovered in 375 degree oven for 25 minutes or until the top is brown and bubbly. 8. Let cool about 5 minutes before serving.  

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