The cool thing about pasta is not just that it comes in so many shapes, size, colors (if you're going for a garden rotini) and varieties, but also that it is so versatile. You can take just about any pasta recipe and tweak it to become a main meal, a side dish or a salad. Here is a recipe that is light since I used fat free half and half. So you feel guilty eating the creamy goodness but it's actually not bad at all. Omit the shrimp and it's vegetarian.
1 lb Pasta of your choice
2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 large cloves, chopped and divided
1/4 - 1/2 cup of chopped scallions
8 oz jar of roasted red & yellow peppers
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup fat free half and half
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 large mushrooms, sliced
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. I used these button shaped pasta that I purchased at Costco and for the life of me I cannot remember what they are called. If you know, please leave me a comment.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large deep skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion and one clove of chopped garlic. Cook until tender, stirring often. Add the roasted peppers and cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in vinegar and cook 1 more minute or until liquid evaporated. Remove from heat and cool.
Place bell pepper mix into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet. Add remaining garlic and shrimp and cook until shrimp is just pink. Add the mushrooms and cook until tender.
Return the bell pepper mix to the pan and fold the shrimp and mushrooms into it. Simmer on low heat until warm.In a separate bowl, mix the half and half and the tomato paste. Whisk until the tomato paste desolves. I think the color came out similar to Nestle Quick, don't you think?
Add this mix to the skillet stirring all ingredients together. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve in a pasta bowl and garnish with parsley, basil, parmesan cheese or more onions like I did.
The color is pretty pink and you really cannot tell where the shrimp starts and pasta ends, but don't let that trick you into not trying this. The flavor was incredible. The roasted pepper flavor is not at all overpowering and the flavor of the shimp came through. This was served with a slice of fresh garlic bread and a nice merlot. This was a wonderful dinner I would serve for guests or make just for me.
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