Friday, April 9, 2010

Penne with Arugula (and Shrimp)

I don't like shrimp ... buy my family loves, loves, loves shrimp. Here's a way with pasta that's really good without shrimp ... and the family tells me it's amazing with shrimp!


1/2 tsp salt
4 oz. whole wheat penne pasta
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 cup quartered mushrooms
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
2 large handfuls fresh arugula (about 3 oz)
1 tsp olive oil (if using shrimp)
6 shrimp (24-30 size), shelled and deveined (optional)
2 Tbs shaved Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp ground sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper


Heat a large pot with water and add the 1/2 tsp of salt. When the water boils, add the pasta and cook according to the package directions, usually about 8 minutes until al dente. Drain.

While the pasta water is coming to a boil, and while the pasta is cooking, prepare the remaining ingredients. Heat the olive oil in a non stick saute pan, then add the onion, garlic, pepper, and mushrooms. Cook until the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, bring to a simmer, and cook an additional minute. The stock will just begin to thicken. Pour the vegetables and stock into a large mixing bowl. Add the arugula to the boil. Return the saute pan to the stove and add the second teaspoon of olive oil. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook until the shrimp lose their gray color and begin to turn pink, about 2 minutes per side. Add the shrimp to the mixing bowl. When the pasta is cooked and drained, add it to the mixing bowl. The heat of the pasta will cause the arugula to wilt. Season with salt and pepper, then top with shaved Parmesan.

Serves 2 (one with shrimp, one without)

Stealthy Cooking Tip: When you have a family member who absolutely won't eat a certain food, don't force it. You can always omit one item from a plate. That way, he or she won't be picking things out of their meal, and the eating experience becomes much more enjoyable! Eventually, he or she may want to try it!

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