we live for pasta
My husband is not a fan of anchovies. I have heard chefs say that anchovy fillets add an umami flavor and disintegrate into the dish, but I can never convince my husband of this, therefore, I omitted. I substituted fresh parsley for the basil as this is what I had on hand. I also like the cooking method for the squash, roasting at 450° for approximately 15-20 minutes.
While the squash roasts, the sauce preparation begins with a quick sauté of the shrimp. In the same pan, you make the sauce by cooking the onions, cooking until softened. Next, add the garlic, anchovies and crushed red pepper until fragrant. Deglaze the pan with white wine and reduce the liquid. Finally, add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and cook until thickened. Off the heat add the cream, shrimp and grated cheese; sauce is done! Add spaghetti squash to individual pasta dishes and top with the shrimp and tomato sauce. Garnish with chopped fresh basil or parsley.
This was a wonderful “pasta” meal. The spaghetti squash was a great vehicle for the sauce and wasn’t as filling as regular pasta. The sauce was flavorful and had the right balance of seasoning. A great recipe to have on hand for a quick weeknight meal.
Another terrific weeknight pasta dish to also try, and it takes one skillet, is Crispy Gnocchi with Burst Tomatoes and Mozzarella from The New York Times Sunday edition. The recipe calls for shelf-stable or refrigerated gnocchi. I purchased the gnocchi at my local Pastosa shop in Manasquan along with freshly made mozzarella.
Although I looked for fresh gnocchi in the refrigerator case, it was unavailable. Absentminded me, headed to the freezer case and picked up two bags. It wasn’t until I got home, I realized my error. The package said to boil the gnocchi approximately 8 minutes, or until they float to the top. I decided to under cook the gnocchi as would finish cooking in the skillet.
Besides the gnocchi you’ll need, extra-virgin olive oil, unsalted butter, fresh garlic, red pepper flakes, kosher salt, black pepper, 2 pints small tomatoes (either grape, cherry or Sungold), fresh basil and fresh mozzarella. I went with grape tomatoes as my local ShopRite had them on sale for $0.99 per container.
After par-cooking the gnocchi, I then followed the recipe whereby the gnocchi are sautéed in two batches until golden brown. When that’s done, it’s on to the sauce, which comes together rather quickly. After the sauce is done, the golden gnocchi are gently tossed with the sauce. A topping of fresh mozzarella and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil goes of the dish. A few minutes under the broiler to get some golden flecks and melt the mozzarella is all that is needed. Garnish with some reserved basil and dinner is done in just under 30 minutes.
The gnocchi were fabulous…and filling! Sautéing the tomatoes really brought out a nice tomato flavor highlighted with a hint of garlic and a bit of heat from the red pepper flakes. Putting the dish under the broiler for several minutes made it seem similar to a baked pasta dish, it was heavenly. My error in selecting the wrong type of gnocchi wasn’t noticeable at all.
Spicy Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp
Southern Living Magazine, January/February 2021
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
1 large (3 ¼-lb.) spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeded, and cut into half-moons
¼ cup olive oil, divided
1 ½ pounds medium-size peeled, deveined raw shrimp
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
½ teaspoon black pepper, divided
1 cup chopped yellow onion (from 1 medium onion)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped (4 tsp.)
3 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
⅓ cup dry white wine
1 (28-oz.) can crushed San Marzano plum tomatoes
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
2 ounces pecorino Romano cheese, grated (about ½ cup), divided
¼ cup small fresh basil leaves
Crispy Gnocchi with Burst Tomatoes and Mozzarella
By Ali Slagle
The New York Times Sunday, April 11, 2021
From the “Home” section
Yield: 4 servings
Time: 25 minutes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
2 (12- to 18-ounce) packages shelf-stable or refrigerated potato gnocchi
¼ cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 pints small tomatoes, such as cherry, grape or Sungold
¼ cup thinly sliced or torn basil leaves (optional), plus more for serving
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut or torn into 1/2-inch pieces
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A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.