Weeknight Spaghetti in Spicy Diavolo Sauce with Shrimp

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Weeknight meals are tough, even for the most seasoned cook. You are dealing with kids’ after school activities, homework, house work, other errands etc., that even if you love cooking, it sounds like a grueling task! It doesn’t have to be an arduous task if you have a quick, delicious and not to mention rather healthy recipe!

That brings you to this spaghetti dish in a spicy tomato sauce. As an option, you can add in seafood of your choice – shrimp, mussels, lobster meat, or even scallops! I used shrimp in mine because I had it on hand.

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Instead of grabbing a bottled pasta sauce, I wanted to make something from “scratch” – in quotes because I didn’t quite blanch the tomato and crush it. I opted for a can of no-salt added crushed tomato, saving precious time in the kitchen! 🙂 Grated lemon zest, chopped fresh basil and a good sprinkling of crushed red peppers lend a wonderful blend of spicy, citrusy note to the sauce that goes so perfectly well with the seafood. Yum! The sauce itself is a keeper even for a simple vegetarian meal!

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You can save even more time if you already have leftover cooked pasta of any kind. If you are really in a pinch, use a low-sugar bottled pasta sauce AND add in extra basil, lemon zest and crushed red pepper. By using a can of crushed tomato, you can adjust the salt and other seasonings to your own specifications – now who wouldn’t want a tailored sauce??!!

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Weeknight Spaghetti in Spicy Diavolo Sauce with Shrimp

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients
1/2 package spaghetti of your choice (regular, whole grain etc.)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced finely
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (adjust to your taste)
1 1/2 cups no-salt added crushed tomato
Grated zest from half lemon
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt to taste
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley for garnish
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Preparation
1. If not using leftover cooked pasta (a time saver), cook pasta according to package directions and set aside.
2. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over medium high heat and sauté the shrimp till cooked through. Sprinkle with a dash of salt. Remove from pan and set aside, covered to keep warm.
3. Heat a small sauce pan over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté onion and garlic.
4. Add crushed red pepper flakes, crushed tomato, basil, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and let simmer for 12-15 minutes till all flavors meld well.
5. Stir in the basil and remove from heat.
6. Toss the pasta with 1/2 cup of sauce and shrimp. Serve on individual plates. Top with remaining sauce distributed among four plates. Garnish with a sprinkling of parsley and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Serve immediately! Bon Apetit

Pad Thai Style Asian Noodles

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Pad Thai is probably the most common Thai dish enjoyed in North America! It is a dish that offers a perfect balance of flavors. One down side is that if you prefer spicy food, this probably won’t be your top choice at a Thai restaurant. I prefer Pad See Ew or other spicy options when we dine at Thai restaurants, but occasionally I do enjoy the delicate flavors of Pad Thai.

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This recipe is inspired by traditional Pad Thai. I say inspired because it uses different blend of sauces/seasoning and vegetables. Served with a side of crispy cucumbers, red onions and jalapeno in a sweet and sour dressing, this noodle will taste light and refreshing.

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Pad Thai Style Asian Noodles

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients 8 oz wide rice noodles
2 tablespoons oil
2 cups of shredded napa cabbage
1 large carrot, shredded
3 green onions, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 inch piece of ginger, minced
½ lb medium uncooked shrimp or boneless, skinless chicken, cut into bite size pieces
1 tablespoon corn starch

Sauce for the noodles 3 tablespoons sweet dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 dime sized ball of tamarind pulp dissolved in ¼ cup warm water
1 clove of garlic, minced,
¼ inch piece of ginger, minced
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 green onion, minced

Garnish
1 lime quartered
¼ cup toasted peanuts, crushed

Preparation
1. Bring a pot of water to boil and cook noodles according to instructions. Drain and set aside.
2. Prepare the sauce for the noodles by combining all the ingredients and simmering under low heat for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. In a large skillet or wok, heat one tablespoon of oil under high heat. Stir fry shrimp (or chicken) coated in cornstarch till cooked through. Remove to a plate and set aside till later.
4. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the wok and add ginger and garlic, followed by all vegetables. Stir fry the vegetables for about 3-5 minutes.
5. Add the cooked shrimp or chicken and follow with the sauce. Mix well.
6. Add the cooked noodles and gently toss to combine.
7. Serve immediately with a wedge of lime, a generous sprinkling of peanuts and a crisp cucumber salad!