Trofie Pasta with grilled shrimp, Cauliflower and Pesto

trofie pasta with pesto and shrimp

Trofie is a twisted pasta shape originating in Liguria, I love it because when you use it with pesto, basically any type of pesto, the sauce just clings to the shape and gets into all the grooves. I’ve used it with my parsley walnut pesto, kale and almond pesto and of course traditional basil pesto, and it’s all so good!

trofie pasta with pesto and shrimp ingredients

In the warmer months and with grilling season underway you can create a beautiful pasta dish with just a few ingredients and a pesto of your choice. I added grilled shrimp, grilled cauliflower and some fresh cherry tomatoes to mine.  If you have a source to buy a good quality pesto you can even do that, but I encourage you to make your own.trofie pasta

Cook pasta according to the package directions and reserve a little pasta water to loosen up the pesto a bit. Toss the pasta into a bowl and add some fresh sliced tomatoes, no need to cook them.

trofie pasta with pesto and shrimp

Start adding in your pesto, I start with a quarter of a cup at a time, tossing gently and coating the trofie pasta using the reserved water if needed.

Just to give you an idea, I used a pound of pasta, a pound of shrimp and a little over a half a cup of basil pesto loosened up a bit.Transfer everything to a pretty platter and top it off with the grilled shrimp and grilled cauliflower.trofie pasta with pesto and shrimp

A five ingredient meal that’s fresh, light and delicious!

(Proud Italian Cook is now on Instagram, follow along with me to see what I’m cooking up daily.)

 

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Shrimp Risotto with Asparagus, Peas and Pepper Rings

shrimp risotto with asparagus, peas and peppers

Risotto really isn’t a difficult dish to make it just takes commitment, there’s stirring involved and you have to pay close attention, it’s a labor of love but the end result is so worth it and it ends up all in one pan!

You can make a simplified version any day of the week or you can jazz it up for a special occasion with impressive results.

Be creative, there are hundreds of variations to try, but make it your own using the flavor combinations that you like, you can never go wrong, the rice is your blank canvas.

ingredients for shrimp and vegetable risotto

Some of the basic rules for making a perfect risotto, besides stirring is to use a short grain rice like arborio or carnaroli, it’s going to give you that creamy texture and bite you’re looking for. Another essential is a good, heavy bottomed pan, never use nonstick!

Next, your going to need some hot broth simmering on the stove, then a little butter, olive oil, onion, cheese and wine, things you usually have stocked in your home and whatever veggies, herbs and proteins you want to add in.shrimp risotto with asparagus, peas and peppers

I used shrimp, asparagus, peas and mini peppers that I cut into rings. All veggies and shrimp were pre-cooked ahead of time and tossed in after the basic risotto base was made.

shrimp risotto with asparagus, peas and peppers

I could be happy with just the the veggies and creamy rice all by itself but the roasted shrimp takes it over the top!

They say your not suppose to mix cheese with seafood, well too bad, I broke the rules, because a little Parmigiano Reggiano never hurt anyone and besides it truly heightens the flavor of the whole dish, so go on and be a rebel!

Shrimp Risotto with Asparagus, Peas and Pepper Rings
 
A one pan meal that is simple, elegant, creamy and sophisticated
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 quart boxed chicken broth, or homemade or vegetable if you wish
  • 1 cup of arborio rice, or other short grained rice
  • 1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, fresh or frozen but patted dry
  • 1 lb. asparagus, fresh cut on the diagonal
  • 1 heaping cup of peas, frozen and defrosted
  • 1 small bag of mini peppers, red yellow and orange cut into rings
  • ½ onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ to ¾ cup of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • olive oil
Instructions
  1. Foil line a rimmed sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil and roast shrimp at 4oo degrees until plump and pink, remove and set aside.
  2. Roast asparagus as well in seperate pan, drizzled with olive oil at 400 degrees, set aside.
  3. Defrost peas, set aside.
  4. In a small saute pan, stove top cook pepper rings until soft and slightly golden colored, set aside.
  5. In a heavy bottomed pan add 1 table spoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil then toss in the onion and cook until soft.
  6. Pour stock into a separate pot and start to heat up, when completely heated keep it on a simmer.
  7. On medium heat, toss in the rice and toast it up a bit, stirring and coating it in the butter and olive oil.
  8. Deglaze with the wine, stirring with a wooden spoon until completely dissolved.
  9. Start adding 1 cup at a time of the hot stock with pan still on medium heat stirring until liquid is absorbed, when pan starts to look dry add more broth 1 cup at a time.
  10. Stir, stir, stir while adding the hot broth, you might have a cup of broth leftover, or you might use it all depending on creamy result of rice.
  11. The end result should be a little soupy, creamy and the rice should have a little bite to it, al dente but not rock hard or mushy, you have to be the judge.
  12. Remove from heat, stir in remaining butter, and grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
  13. Toss in the roasted cooked shrimp and all juices on the pan and lastly add in the cooked vegetables.

 

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Flatbread Pizzas

flatbread pizza with eggplant

Flatbreads seem to be all the rage, have you noticed? They’re popping up on restaurant menus and wine bars all over the place. Sometimes you see them as appetizers to be shared or as a light lunch or dinner served with a salad, I’ve even seen them used for breakfast, either way they’re pretty popular right now.

flatbread

Flatbreads can be made without yeast which results in a crispy, cracker like crust, the kind I like the best and the kind I seem to find in most restaurants, or by using pizza dough with yeast and rolling it out really flat.

You can make your own, there are plenty of recipes on the web or you can buy a brand you like. Let me just say I have no affiliation with this brand what so ever, I just happened to come upon it while shopping at a new grocery store in my area, but now I’ve fallen in love!

I think they’re great to have handy when company stops by, they take 10 minutes to crisp up and the toppings are endless! Just Google flatbread pizzas and you’ll see what I mean.flatbread pizza with eggplant

First brush each side of the flatbread with olive oil, uncooked, straight from the package, place on a sheet pan, then layer your toppings on.

I used shredded mozzarella then placed sauteed eggplant slices on top along with red onion, pop in the oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, when it came out I brushed it with basil pesto, so good and great served with a glass of wine!

flatbread pizza with eggplantflatbread pizza with eggplant

Less dough, less filling, but oh so satisfying and crispy good!

scrambled egg flatbread pizza

So good I decided to make a breakfast version, this time I cut the flatbread down the middle instead of leaving it whole, brushed olive oil on each side and precooked the flatbread at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

In the meantime I scrambled up some eggs with fontina, a little leftover sausage, red pepper and spinach.

scrambled egg flatbread pizza

When the flatbread came out of the oven nice and crispy I plopped my egg combo right on top, delish!

A nice alternative to a heavier doughed pizza and perfect for entertaining this summer!

 

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