March 13, 2010

Mediterranean Pasta Variations

Posted in Pasta at 2:54 pm by Sheila OConnell

This is a follow-up to my original post. Part of the fun of cooking is trying variations of a recipe. Here are a few of my favorites. They all use the basic technique – get water boiling for pasta, cook garlic, onions, and other items along with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, then add tomatos and oregano. Then combine with pasta water and pasta.

1. Succulent Shrimp

In this version I strive for a slightly creamier sauce so I reduce the olive oil and add 1-2 tablespoons of butter. Also I use a small can of diced tomatos.  Use about a half pound of shrimp – wash, shell and devein. The shrimp cook fairly quickly so start onions and garlic then add shrimp.

2. Sausage and mushrooms.

Use one or two Italian sausages – cut a slit in, and remove from, the casing. break into small pieces and cook with the onions and garlic. Add chopped mushrooms (i like small pieces in this recipes) and cook for several minutes before adding tomatos. Defintely top with parmesean cheese. Mushrooms give a nice earthy taste.

3. Chicken & artichokes.

Half pound of chicken tenders and a small jar of marinated artichoke hearts. Wash, dry, and dust the chicken with flour – quick saute in oil or butter (2 minutes per side) and set aside. Then saute garlic and onions and chopped artichokes. Add chicken pieces. Let saute a couple of minutes, then add tomatos. Continue as usual.

4. Squash and eggplant

Wash and slice 1 small zucchini or yellow squash and maybe 1/2 eggplant into smallish, but not too thin pieces. Heat oil then saute vegetables. After 4-5 minutes add garlic and onions. Stir/turn vegetables frequently. Add tomatoes, then spinach, etc.

Posted by Dad

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