You may have noticed that pasta recipes don’t show up around here very often. There are two reasons for that. 1. I don’t have a drop of Italian in my DNA, which means I didn’t grow up eating lots of pasta and it’s not something I have tons of experience with. 2. Truth be told, I’m a bottomless pit for pasta (and pizza, by the way). So, much to my pasta-loving fiance’s chagrin, I don’t cook it that often.
Fortunately, I exhibited just enough restraint this Sunday to pull off this recipe without nursing a bellyache afterward. And you know what? It may be one of the best things I’ve ever made. Like, ever ever. For the first time in my life the words, “this tastes like it’s from a restaurant!” spilled out of my mouth regarding something I made. It was the first time I ever tried to pull off a white wine garlic sauce, which is one of my most favorite things ever. And it’s so easy! Any time I’m in a restaurant and I see the words “white wine garlic sauce” you can almost always bet that’s what I’m getting.
If I’m keeping it real around here I have to admit this meal almost didn’t happen. It was on the verge of being a complete fail. You see, I had the bright idea to add just a little bit of cream to the sauce. But, trying to make it a little healthier, I picked up half-and-half at the store instead of cream. When I added the half-and-half to the sauce when it was done…it curdled! (A quick Google search has me thinking it’s either due to the lower fat content of half-and-half vs. cream or it’s because the liquid was cold when I added it to the hot sauce.) I won’t go into detail about how gross curdling is because I want you to think positively about this sauce and love it as much as I do. I had a solid three minute freak out until I realized I had just enough ingredients left to give it another go. So I tossed out the first batch of sauce (luckily, I hadn’t added the shrimp, greens, or penne yet) and started from scratch–omitting the half-and-half this time, which was definitely the way to go all along.
This meal hit all of the right notes for this time of year. It’s light and healthy, featuring whole wheat fiber-rich penne, protein-packed shrimp, and nutrient-rich greens. At the same time, it’s warm and comforting–just what the doctor ordered in early January.
Penne with Shrimp & Sun Dried Tomatoes
Serves 2 (with leftovers)
2 cups uncooked whole wheat penne
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt & pepper
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (thawed if frozen)
6 sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, chopped (FYI: I used sun dried tomatoes in olive oil from Trader Joe’s that were julienned. If you buy this kind use 2 heaping Tbsp and chop them.)
1 cup white wine (Chardonnay works great)
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
5 oz baby greens such as spinach or arugula. (I used Power to the Greens from Trader Joe’s, which includes baby kale, baby chard, and baby spinach.)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Cook penne according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic. Saute until fragrant – about 1 minute. Add shrimp and saute until cooked through. Remove shrimp to a plate.
Add sundried tomatoes to the pan. Saute for about a minute or two. Add the wine and broth and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering liquid for about 12-15 minutes. (If you like, cut tails off of shrimp while you wait for the liquid to simmer – though it’s not necessary.) Add the greens and red pepper flakes and cook until greens are wilted. Add shrimp and penne to the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until shrimp are heated through.
Adapted from Eat, Live, Run