April 19th is a special day. Not just because it was a year ago today that I wrote my first blog post (which also means it was a year ago yesterday that I started eating gluten free), but because it's my little sister's birthday. She's five years younger than I am, but probably far wiser. She will also happily eat anything I cook, which makes it even more of a shame that she lives across the country from me. She would be the perfect taste tester!
Happy birthday, Grace! I can't be with you today, so I'm cooking in your honor. Next time we're together, I'll make you my tomato basil shrimp pasta and a gluten free, sugar free cake...if I can figure out how to make one!
My recipes evolve a lot from start to finish. Although I always have a plan in mind when I begin cooking, it usually changes as I go along. A taste here and there assures me that I'm on the right path or leads me in a new direction. This dish was originally going to be a shrimp and spinach salad, but after tasting the marinade, I decided it would be better cooked. I began imagining a wilted spinach salad, but then I remembered the Bionaturae pasta I had bought (SO worth the extra $), and decided to add it. But a quick taste had me thinking it would be better if the sauce were a bit creamy, so in went the milk and flour. And voila. A rich and creamy pasta dish. It's almost like going to a fancy restaurant. One where they make you wash your own dishes.
Tomato Basil Shrimp Pasta
3 cups dry Bionaturae Penne (or your favorite gluten free pasta)
45 medium shrimp, pre-cooked (and thawed if frozen)
1/4 red onion, diced
1/4 sweet onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves, diced
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. wheat free tamari
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
large handful fresh basil, chopped (approx. 1 cup)
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
10 grape tomatoes, whole + 10 grape tomatoes, coarsely chopped
3 Tbsp. Trader Joe's Unsweetened Whole Grain Drink (or milk/non-dairy alternative)
1 Tbsp. white rice flour
sea salt to taste
- In a food processor or blender, puree the whole grape tomatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, tamari, and red pepper flakes. Put in a bowl and toss with the shrimp. Put in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes.
- Cook pasta according to directions. Drain the water and set pasta aside.
- When shrimp is done marinating, heat a large saute pan over medium low. With a fork or slotted spoon, take the shrimp out and put in a bowl (it will overcook if put in the pan now). Pour the marinade in the pan and simmer 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Whisk in the milk and flour and allow to thicken slightly.
- Add the spinach, basil, and chopped tomatoes and stir about a minute, until the spinach is wilted.
- Add the pasta and shrimp and stir in until they're evenly heated. Add sea salt to taste. Serve hot.
Stop by Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Gluten Free Wednesdays for more delicious recipes.