Sunday, August 21, 2011

Penne with Creamy Goat Cheese, Shrimp & Zucchini

Common occurrence: pasta craving. I’m sure most can relate. I don’t know how often most people get this craving, but I can identify it at least once every other week. So last week, I woke up thinking rigatoni, penne, fusilli, I would like some asap! Now, my cravings might sound a little odd compared to most, but then again, I don’t consider my relationship with food like others’ relationships with it. I say relationship in a good way though; me and the “edibles” are pretty much best buds. That being said, when my running sneaks take part of this trio, we are all one happy family. Okay, now this is getting more weird…….Back to the dish……So I had this craving and I had these ingredients: zucchini, bag o’ basil, part of a log of goat cheese, eggplant, and fresh mozzarella. I decided that I could use the mozz and eggplant later in the week and thought of this concoction…….what a winner!! The goat cheese and bacon flavors were absolutely delicious. I love fresh basil on pretty much anything but it lightened up this dish and made for a true summer delight! A must try if you ask me!

Penne with Creamy Goat Cheese, Shrimp and Zucchini
Serves: 2-4
OBJ: TCW be able to satisfy her craving for pasta and use up some of the lingering ingredients in the fridge

½ lb penne pasta (or other tube-shaped pasta you like)
12 jumbo shrimp, cleaned and deveined, tails removed
½ tsp red pepper flakes
2 shallots, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ Can diced tomatoes (14.5 ounce can)
4 slices bacon, cut into ½ inch chunks
¼ C extra virgin olive oil, divided into 2 TBS each
12 leaves fresh basil, torn
3 Ounces goat cheese, crumbled
2 green zucchini, cut into ¼ inch slices, then quartered
½ C dry white wine (I use Pinot Grigio, but use what you booze!)
½ lemon
S & P (salt and pepper)
Parmesan cheese

1. Marinate shrimp: In a small bowl, combine shrimp, juice of lemon, 2 TBS olive oil, a pinch S & P, red pepper flakes, and basil. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes

Marinating shrimp before being covered and refrigerated...
2. Prepare pasta according to package directions, saving ½ C “pasta water”
3. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, cook bacon, garlic and shallots over medium flame. Remove bacon when edges are crisp, about 8-10 minutes
4. To pan add remaining 2 TBS olive oil and a decent pinch of S & P, lower heat to medium low and add shrimp with marinade to cook. Once shrimp are pink in color and cooked through, about 3-5 minutes, remove to a separate bowl
5. Add wine to pan and up the flame to medium high and let come to a boil, let boil for about 3 minutes to reduce
6. Add zucchini and diced tomatoes, stir, lower heat to medium low and cover for 12-15 minutes (FYI-This is when I would be placing pasta in boiling water)
7. Uncover pan, add bacon and shrimp, stir well and let simmer uncovered for 2 minutes
8. Add drained pasta and crumbled goat cheese to sauté pan, or large serving bowl if your pan isn’t large enough, and stir very well adding about 2-4 TBS of pasta water as you mix
9. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and freshly torn basil

Not the greatest picture, but this lets you see the creaminess....oh so delish!

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