Pasta meals are my favorite and I'm always searching for new variations to mix things up a bit. I happened to catch one of the best episodes of Barefoot Contessa I've seen yet . . . Ina prepared five or six different pasta dishes . . . the episode was aptly named Pasta Bella. This post features two of my favorite pasta dishes she prepared.
You would think with all the pasta I make that I would crave something different when I go out to eat. I'm actually very picky about the pasta dishes I order when eating out, but when I want pasta and someone to wait on me, Carrabas Italian Restaurant is my favorite. I always order Shrimp Scampi that seems to be very similar to the first recipe. Believe it or not, I've never made this at home, but now that I have this recipe, we will be making this very soon!
Linguine with Shrimp Scampi
- Vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus 1 1/2 teaspoons
- 3/4 pound linguine
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
- 1 pound large shrimp (about 16 shrimp), peeled and deveined
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1/2 lemon, zest grated
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
- 1/4 lemon, thinly sliced in half-rounds
- 1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
Drizzle some oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the linguine, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or according to the directions on the package.
Meanwhile, in another large (12-inch), heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Be careful, the garlic burns easily! Add the shrimp, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper and saute until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat, add the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon slices, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine.
When the pasta is done, drain the cooked linguine and then put it back in the pot. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce, toss well, and serve.
As I was watching Ina make this pasta dish, the thought occurred to me that this is like a very fancy macaroni and cheese. Of course I would add a variation to it . . . grilled italian sausage cut in diagonal slices, but you could also add chicken for another variation.
Penne with Five Cheeses
- Kosher salt
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes in thick tomato puree
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano (1 1/2 ounces)
- 1/2 cup shredded imported Italian fontina (1 1/2 ounces)
- 1/4 cup crumbled Italian Gorgonzola (1 1/2 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
- 1/4 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced
- 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 pound imported penne rigate pasta
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Bring 5 quarts of salted water to a boil in a stockpot.
Combine all the ingredients except the penne and butter in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
Drop the penne into the boiling water and parboil for 4 minutes. Drain well in a colander and add to the ingredients in the mixing bowl, tossing to combine.
Divide the pasta mixture among 6 shallow ceramic gratin dishes (1 1/2 to 2-cup capacity). Dot with the butter and bake until bubbly and brown on top, 7 to 10 minutes.
Click on the link for more recipes from this episode
Source: The Food Network