Bobby Flay's Shrimp Orecchiette


For the Shrimp Broth:

  • Shrimp shells from 1 pound of shrimp
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 6-10 whole black peppercorn
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon tomato paste

For the Shrimp Orecchiette:

  • 1 pound dried Orecchiette pasta
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Calabrian red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup Shrimp Broth, see recipe above
  • 3 tablespoons butter, unsalted, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup freshly granted Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more for garnish
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


Shrimp Broth:


Before you throw away all of those shrimp shells, consider making a shrimp stock with them. Next time you find yourself peeling shrimp, reserve the shells (or freeze them in a ziplock) and make this very simple stock. This recipe calls for the shells from one pound of shrimp, but of course it can be adjusted.


  1. Add all the ingredients to a sauce pan or small stock pot, stirring in the tomato paste to incorporate and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes. 

  2. As it cooks, carefully give the shells a crush with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon for maximum flavor extraction. 

  3. When done, pour broth through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing down on the shells even further, until all the liquid has been extracted. Reserve broth, discard solids. 


Shrimp Orecchiette:


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Season the water generously with kosher salt. Add the orecchiette to the water and cook for 2 minutes less than directed on the package, about 6 minutes. 

  2. While the pasta cooks, heat a large high-sided saute pan over medium high heat. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan until it begins to shimmer. Season the shrimp on both sides with salt and pepper. Add the shrimp to the pan in an even layer and sear until just opaque and golden on both sides, but not cooked through, approximately 2 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a plate.

  3. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and heat until it begins to shimmer. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, approximately 30 seconds.

  4. Add the shrimp broth to the pan, turn the heat to high, scraping any brown bits to incorporate.  Cook and allow the broth to reduce by half, approximately 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and any juices that collected on the plate, back in to the pan and let simmer until the shrimp are opaque throughout, approximately 1- 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

  5. Lower the heat to medium and add the well-drained orecchiette to the pan, as well as the butter, Parmigiano Reggiano and lemon zest, tossing to coat and combine. Fold in the parsley and basil, adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve.

  6. Garnish with additional lemon zest and cheese if so desired.