Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Lemon Garlic Pasta with Shrimp, Kale, and Goat Cheese


Make this pasta.

OK, bye.


On a serious note, I want to tell you a little story about this pasta. I got home a little later than usual but I still wanted a hearty, delicious homemade dinner. I didn't succumb to the take out menu, and I am so glad I had that willpower. This meal came together in less than 30 minutes, but I was hungry. Ravenous. I needed food in my belly. I took a bite of this pasta right out of the serving bowl and after that first bite, well. I knew I had to share this with you. I needed to wait just a few minutes longer, snap a few (really unremarkable) photos, and let everyone on the interwebs know what an amazing dish this is.

In the end, it's a happy story. I had two big servings of this pasta, I'm not hungry anymore, and now, just below, you hold this recipe in your hands.

This dish, despite being a pasta recipe, is delightfully light and fresh. It is hearty and flavorful. It starts with a pasta of your choice--I'd recommend a whole wheat or Trader Joe's Brown Rice and Quinoa pasta for gluten free. Pasta = happiness, as we all know, so this is a good place to start. Save a bit of the pasta cooking water too, it will come in handy later when we make our sauce. Then, there is chopped kale, sauteed in a bit of olive oil with two generous cloves of minced garlic. Lovin' ya. Big, juicy shrimps are sauteed until golden brown and gorgeous.

The fun part about this pasta is that we are making a no-cook sauce. In a big serving bowl, we are whisking together the juice of 2 lemons and about 1/3 cup of olive oil with a big handful of grated parmesan cheese and lots of black pepper. SERIOUSLY, that's it. Pasta, kale, and shrimp all get a big toss in this lemon sauce along with that pasta water, creating a nice, slurp-able sauce.

OH wait. You thought that was it? That description there was perfect and you're ready to dig in? That's fine, but wait. There's more more more. And you don't want to miss this. GOAT CHEESE. Yes, yes. Crumbled on top of each bowl while the pasta is still hot. And it's going to melt, and become creamy, and dreamy, and you will finally understand what love is.

Here's what you need for Lemon Garlic Pasta with Shrimp, Kale, and Goat Cheese* (Print Recipe!)

1 pound pasta of choice
1 bunch kale, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined (fresh or frozen & thawed is fine!)
2 lemons, juiced
1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for sauteeing
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and lots of pepper to taste
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Here's what you do

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Reserve a cup of the pasta cooking water (you may not need all of it, but better safe than sorry).

While the pasta cooks, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the kale and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the kale is wilted and tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Be sure to stir occasionally so as not to burn the garlic.

Push the kale to the side of the skillet and add a bit more olive oil to the pan. Add the shrimp and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side until it is pale pink in color and slightly browned on the edges.

In a large serving bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and parmesan cheese with a generous pinch of black pepper. Add the hot pasta and toss to coat. Gently fold in the shrimp and kale mixture and drizzle in a bit of the reserved pasta water. I used about 1/4 cup, just to loosen the sauce a bit. Season to taste.

Finally, spoon the warm pasta into bowls and top with crumbled goat cheese. Each person should lightly stir the goat cheese into the pasta to create a nice, creamy finish. Enjoy immediately.

*Gas Stove Girl Original Recipe

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