Friday, March 2, 2012

Roasted Shrimp with Spinach Pesto

The Cook What You've Got philosophy is second nature to me, but I always love seeing the process create a fabulous meal.

Fighting off a cold and doing taxes all day, I looked into the fridge only to find GREENS...a one-pound bag of spinach, a bunch of mature spinach, collard greens, cabbage, leeks, etc.  Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that I have fresh veggies from my local farm.  But bleary-eyed from staring at the computer all afternoon, they just didn't sound that great and it was getting to the dinner witching hour of 5:30 so I knew whatever I did had to be quick. 

Shrimp called out to me from the freezer.  A quick run under warm water and slipping off their shells allowed for a total cooking time of 8 minutes in a hot oven.  But Shrimp and greens wouldn't make dinner (at least not with three males who cannot seem to get enough food in my house.) The pantry housed brown rice pasta, polenta, rice, the usual suspects.  Pasta was the quick option, but I couldn't wrap my cloudy brain around a shrimp and collard green pasta.  Then it hit me, Spinach Pesto.  I make this for my Rock Star in the Kitchen class all the time.  (Get the recipes here.) I had the walnuts, garlic and parmesan I needed. 

CWYG is always a great payoff and this ended in a healthy meal that everyone loved. 

Ingredient Notes:  Use any kind of greens you have knowing that the more hearty the green, the more complex the flavor will be.  You will need to adjust salt and lemon accordingly.  Leave out the shrimp or use chicken instead.  Leftover roasted chicken would stand-in fine.

Roasted Shrimp with Spinach Pesto Pasta
1 lb medium shrimp (EZ peel or already peeled are best)
EV olive oil
kosher salt
red pepper flakes
1 lb brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat or regular pasta
1 cup spinach pesto (from Rock Star recipes)
parmesan cheese for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. 

Toss shrimp with olive oil kosher salt and red pepper flakes on a cookie sheet.  Place in oven just after putting pasta in water.  Bake for 6-8 minutes until shrimp are curled and pink.

Add a big handful of salt to water then stir in pasta.  Boil until al dente, stirring occasionally.  Remove 2 cups of pasta water before draining pasta.  Drain pasta then place back in pan.  Stir in pesto, a handful of parmesan cheese and a little pasta water, stirring well.  Add water as needed to get the saucy consistency you want.   Serve in large shallow bowls dotted with roasted shrimp.  I don't add extra cheese to this just do honor the Italian "no cheese with seafood" ideal.  Feel free to do so, though if you would like to.

Print Page Copyright 2011 Christi Flaherty, Cook What You've Got

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