This is probably one of the easiest and tastiest pastas I've ever put together. I love it, the hubby loves it and, most importantly, the kids love it. We get home from work - tired - and the last thing we want to do is slave away in the kitchen. If you've been following my food blogs, you'll know that easy recipes are where it's at in our household.
I always tell people that I cook to survive and I don't necessarily worry about presentation. This dish, however, presents itself quite nicely without me trying to make it look presentable - it's colorful but in a clean way. When I say this, I mean that the dish doesn't appear overly saucy.
If you're interested in learning this recipe, read on!
Prep time: Approximately 15 minutes
Cook time: Approximately 20-30 minutes
NOTE: For my family of 5, I used the whole bag of shrimp, 1 1/2 packages of organic spaghetti, 1 1/2 cups of grape tomatoes, and 8 cloves of garlic. We love shrimp and garlic so we used the max. You really can used more or less of each ingredient.
Also, wash all produce (aside from garlic) before prepping and cooking!
So, basically, to cut down on time, I had three of the burners on - I like my recipes fast and quick, remember?? To do this, I tend to multi-task!
Mince your garlic, halve your tomatoes, chop your mushrooms, chives and cilantro leaves (leave these last 2 for later).
Follow directions on your pasta package. I add a handful of salt and about 2 tbs of olive oil into my pasta water before bringing to a boil. Then I add my pasta, occasionally stirring. I cook for 7-10 mins until it's al dente (somewhere between cooked and uncooked). Then I drain into a colander when finished, awaiting to be mixed with the rest of the ingredients.
I have another pot going for the shrimp, just covered enough in water until it comes to a boil. When you see that it's boiling, turn the heat down so the water doesn't overflow. However, you still want to keep your eye on the pot. Turn the heat down even further and stir the pot to calm the bubbles down if they start to look like they're going to get out of control.
When cooked, shrimp will turn orange, shrink down in size, and meat will become opaque. Drain the cooked water and cover the cooked shrimp with cool water to cool down. Have a helper or two peel the shrimp and place in a separate bowl (to be added to the ingredients later).
FOR the OTHER INGREDIENTS:
In yet another pan (we use a wok because of how deep it is), add your oil and garlic. Bring to sizzle. Stir about 1 minute, then add your tomatoes and saute until they're partially reduced (they become halfway mushy - you'll know because they tomatoes loose their shape). Add your shiitake mushrooms and stir for about 2-3 mins or until soft. Turn heat to low.
Once your ingredients are cooked, add shrimp and cook for about a minute to mix all the flavors. Then add your cooked spaghetti, chives, and cilantro and mix well. Turn your stove off.
Grab your Italian dressing and add 1/2 - the full bottle right into the wok. Add as much (or as little) to your liking. Add salt and pepper to taste. Though, you'll find you don't need to add much salt.
Once everything is mixed, you get a little something that looks like this...
As always, the real test is whether my kids will be into it. I"m happy to say they each had several servings and couldn't believe how easy it was when they were helping me with prep!
I encourage you to try this easy recipe and let me know what you think!
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