Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Shrimp Farfalle with Spinach and Sundried Tomatoes

This dish tastes decadent but was made with only 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  And if you really want to go crazy, you can add 1 tablespoon of butter.  But still!  Hardly any fat for a dish that will serve 3-4 adults.  So quick and easy, you'll need to have all your ingredients ready to go as you prepare it.  It takes less than 20 minutes, and I usually start the sauce component 5 minutes before the pasta is cooking.  If you don't like shrimp, chicken can easily be substituted.  You can also make additions or substitutions for the vegetables, such as mushrooms, asparagus, and broccoli.  All would be yummy!  My kids ate some of the pasta I set aside for them along with leftover chicken and carrots.  I'm sure they would have eaten this, but I selfishly wanted to leftovers for myself. 

Happy Cooking!

Shrimp Farfalle with Spinach and Sundried Tomatoes  
1 T olive oil
1 medium to large shallot, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup sundried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1 9oz package of baby spinach
3/4-1 lb of large peeled and deviened shrimp (I cook about 6 shrimp per adult - you can buy these fresh or frozen, but be sure they are defrosted before adding them to the recipe)
1/2 lb of whole grain pasta, I used Barilla Plus Farfalle
1/2 - 3/4 cup pasta water
salt & pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 T butter, optional

Boil water for your pasta, adding some salt and olive oil.  Begin making your sauce 5 minutes before cooking your pasta (given a pasta with a 10 minute aldente cooking time).  Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water for the sauce and do not rinse the pasta.  I was able to scoop the pasta directly from the water into the finished sauce.   Be sure your pasta still has a little bite to it as it will finish cooking in the sauce.

Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in an over-sized nonstick skillet.  Saute the shallots over medium heat until almost translucent.  (At this time you would cook the broccoli, mushrooms, or asparagus as well.  I did add a few leftover mushrooms I had in my fridge)

Add the garlic and saute for only 1 minute before adding the wine.  Stir to deglaze the pan.

Add the sundried tomatoes so they can soak up some of the liquid and continue to cook for about 5 minutes until some of the liquid has evaporated, like the picture below. 

Add the spinach and put the lid on the pan.  Allow the spinach to wilt for about 3-5 minutes.  Stir to incorporate into the sauce. 

Add the shrimp and place the lid on again, cooking about 5 minutes or until shrimp have turned bright pink.  Don't over cook them or they will become tough. (You can use already cooked shrimp and just add at the end to re-heat, but they don't taste as good or absorb the flavor as well.)

At this point, add in 1 tablespoon of butter if you wish.  It isn't a lot, but it does make the dish a bit creamier and richer.  Allow it to melt and stir into the sauce.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Now assuming that you've finished your sauce before the pasta is ready, keep the sauce on medium heat.  Add the hot pasta and 1/2 cup of the pasta water along with the the parmesan cheese.  Stir to combine. 

Taste and re-season with more salt and pepper if necessary.  Allow pasta to cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes and the sauce will continue to absorb and thicken.  So yummy!!!

before the sauce began to thicken up...

My serving...I couldn't wait to dig in!

And one more picture of the final product, just for good measure.  Enjoy!!!

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