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Shrimp Pasta in Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce

Hafa adai, everyone!  It’s been quite a while since I added a new recipe.  What can I say?  Life happens. 🙂  Let’s see…since my last post, I retired from the Army (after 23 years and some change), my oldest graduated from high school and went off to college, my youngest started high school and is a budding artist, I got a new full-time job as a defense contractor, and I’ve re-discovered an old passion for knitting and crocheting.  See–my creativity doesn’t just reside in the kitchen. 😀

Despite all that, I’ve been accumulating a lot of recipes to share, so be on the lookout for new posts.  This is the first of many new favorites that I’m sure you’ll enjoy as much as my family does.

Let’s get to it then, shall we?

As you probably know from some of my other recipes, my family loves pasta.  This is a super easy dish to make.  While we love traditional spaghetti sauce, I love making a sauce using cream, sun-dried tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese.  You can add a variety of other ingredients such as mushrooms, basil, and spinach leaves to take it to a whole new level.  The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

I added baby portobello mushrooms, basil paste and fresh spinach leaves to this recipe.  See below for the type of sun-dried tomatoes I used.  I use the ones packed in oil.  I use the flavored oil to saute the mushrooms, which enhances the flavor of the whole dish.

If you’re a follower of my recipes, you know one of my signature ingredients is a powdered beef seasoning called Dashida.  You can find this any Korean market (or most Asian markets).  If you can’t find Dashida, use beef bouillon, or add salt to taste.

Start by slicing the mushrooms. Set them aside for now.

In a LARGE skillet over medium high heat, saute the shrimp with the seasonings (see my full recipe below).  I use a 17-inch skillet; if you don’t have one this large, you may want to use a large pot as we make the sauce and add the pasta and shrimp all together midway through.

Set a pot of water to boil while you prepare the shrimp. When the water is boiling, add the pasta to the pot (you can a couple of teaspoons of salt to the water as well). Only cook the pasta partway, about half the recommended cooking time suggested on the package.  The pasta will finish cooking in the sauce later, so you want to make sure you don’t overcook it now.

Cook the shrimp for about 5 minutes, stirring to ensure even cooking on both sides.  Remove the shrimp from the pan and set them aside for now.

To the same pan, add the mushrooms and some of the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes.

Cook the mushrooms until they reduce in volume, then add the sun-dried tomatoes to the pan.  Cook for another 2 minutes or so.

Add the remaining seasonings to the pan as well as the heavy cream.

Add the grated cheese to the pan.  Stir to combine all the ingredients.

The pasta should be ready by now.  Drain the pasta then add it to the sauce.

Add the basil paste and spinach leaves to the sauce.

Stir to combine all the ingredients.  The heat up to medium high; cook for a few more minutes, just until the pasta is done.  Look how good it looks already, and we haven’t even added the shrimp back in yet. 😀

Add the shrimp and any liquid that may have accumulated in the dish back to the pan.

Stir to get all that delicious shrimp mixed in.  Cook for a minute or two to reheat the shrimp.  Oh my….are you drooling yet?

Serve and enjoy!!

<span class="mceItemHidden" data-mce-bogus="1"><span></span>Shrimp Pasta in Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce</span>
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
For the Shrimp:
  • 2 pounds shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon Dashida
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
For the Sauce:
  • 8 oz. baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 8.5 oz. sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
  • ¼ cup oil from the sundried tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon Dashida beef seasoning (you can sub with salt, to taste)
  • 2 pints heavy whipping cream
  • 8 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons basil paste
  • 5 cups baby spinach leaves
Pasta:
  • 1 pound box uncooked penne pasta
Instructions
Cook the Shrimp:
  1. In a large skillet, saute the shrimp with seasonings.
  2. Cook over medium high heat for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Cook the Pasta:
  1. Place a pot of water to boil according to the instructions on the box of pasta.
  2. Cook the pasta for half of the recommended cooking time. The pasta will finish cooking in the sauce.
Make the Sauce:
  1. Turn the heat to medium high.
  2. Add the mushrooms and sun-dried tomato oil to the same pan used to cook the shrimp. Cook until the mushrooms soften and reduce in volume.
  3. Add the chopped sundried tomatoes. Cook an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining seasonings to the pan; stir to combine.
  5. Pour in the heavy whipping cream.
  6. Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium low.
Finishing:
  1. Add the partially-cooked pasta to the sauce.
  2. Turn the heat back up to medium-high. Cook for a few more minutes, just until the pasta is done.
  3. Add the basil paste and spinach leaves to the pan. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the cooked shrimp to the pan. Stir to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes to reheat the shrimp.
Serve and enjoy!

 

 

 

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Penne with Sausage and Pumpkin Cream Sauce

Pumpkin in pasta sauce?!  Why, YES! 🙂

My daughter, Hannah, loves pasta.  Actually, my entire family loves pasta.  She wanted to make something off the beaten path of the usual alfredo or meat sauce so she browsed several websites and recipes and found one (by Rachael Ray I think) and wanted to give it a try.  I must say that it’s absolutely delicious (thank you, Rachael).

This is Hannah’s take on Rachael’s recipe (original recipe found here).

Give it a try.  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

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Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Hannah made enough pasta for dinner for our family of four, plus enough for everyone to pack lunch the next day, so she cooked two boxes of penne pasta.

Drain the water from the pot; keep the cooked pasta in the pot (no need to dirty another serving bowl).  Set aside for now.

Meanwhile, brown the sausage in a large frying pan.  Hannah used sweet/mild Italian sausage, but if you like a spicier pasta, use spicy sausage.  Remove the browned sausage from the pan and place on top of paper towels to soak up any excess fat.

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Using the same pan you used to brown the sausage, cook the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent and beginning to caramelize.  To save on cooking time, we usually buy a jar of chopped garlic.  We like LOTS of garlic, so Hannah added a couple of HEAPING tablespoons of chopped garlic to the pan.

There was enough grease in the pan from cooking the sausage so there is no need to add more oil to cook the onions and garlic.

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Roughly cut the sage leaves and toss them into the pan.

Bay leaves are savory herbs used often in Italian cooking.  The photo below doesn’t look as if she did it, but Hannah slightly crushed the bay leaves before adding them to the pan.  Crushing bay leaves brings out more of its natural oils and intense flavors.  Be careful that you don’t crush the leaves and maket them too small; you want to remove them from the pan after cooking (don’t eat the leaves).

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Add the wine to the pan.  Hannah used a Pino Grigio for this recipe.  Because my kids are eating this (even though a lot of the alcohol cooks off), I wanted her to use a light-bodied wine with a clean and fresh taste — Pino Grigio was it.

Turn the heat up to high and bring the mixture to a boil, cooking until the wine reduces by half.

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Add the chicken broth to the pan once the wine reduced.

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Stir in the pureed pumpkin.  Pumpkin in pasta, you ask???  Don’t fret; you won’t even notice the pumpkin is in there.  The taste is not overpowering at all, but it’s just enough for you to ask, “hmmm…what IS that that tastes so good?” 😉

Since Hannah made a large pot of pasta, she used a good amount of pumpkin, about 2 cups.

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Add the cinnamon and nutmeg to the sauce.  The nutmeg and cinnamon compliment the pumpkin flavor quite nicely.

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Stir in the heavy whipping cream.

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Reduce the heat to medium.  Bring the sauce back to a simmer; cook for a few minutes (about 5 or so).  Taste the sauce; add salt to taste.  Hannah added about 2 tablespoons of Dashida powdered beef seasoning instead of salt.  Don’t add too much, however; you’ll be adding cheese to the pasta, which also has salt.

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Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the cooked pasta.  Hannah used LOTS of cheese here.  The cheese will melt when your pour the hot pasta sauce over the noodles, helping to thicken the sauce.

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CAREFULLY pour the hot sauce over the pasta and cheese.  Stir to combine.  It may seem very saucy at this point but the noodles will soak up some of the sauce (we love saucy pastas in our house).

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Serve with a side of cheesy garlic bread and more shredded Parmesan cheese and ENJOY! 🙂

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Penne with Sausage and Pumpkin Cream Sauce
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 8 fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 2½ cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups 100% pure pumpkin
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dashida seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 box Penne Pasta, cooked per package directions
  • 1½ cups grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Pour out the cooked pasta into a colander to drain out all the water. Return the cooked pasta to the now-empty pot. Set aside.
  2. Brown the sausage in a large frying pan. Remove the cooked sausage from pan; place in a paper towel-lined bowl to allow the excess fat to drain off.
  3. Cook the onions and garlic in the same pan used to cook the sausage. Cook until the onions begin to caramelize.
  4. Add the sage and bay leaves. Slightly crush the bay leaves before adding them to the pan.
  5. Add the wine to the pan. Turn the heat up to high and bring the mixture to a boil, cooking until it reduces by half.
  6. Stir in the chicken broth, pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir to combine.
  7. Stir in the whipping cream. Reduce the heat to medium. Bring the sauce back to a simmer; cook for a few minutes (about 5 or so).
  8. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the cooked pasta. Pour the sauce over the pasta and cheese. Stir to coat the pasta with the sauce.
Serve with more shredded cheese and ENJOY!

 

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Pancit Bihon

Pancit Bihon is a Filipino dish that Chamorros adopted as their own, fusing ingredients from several cultures as well as using home-grown vegetables.

There are many pancit variations. As the name implies, this pancit uses Bihon noodles, also called rice noodles or rice sticks. Bihon noodles are usually sold dried (that’s where the name “rice sticks” comes from) but some Asian markets sell them fresh. I used the dried noodles to make my pancit. It’s quick and easy — it only takes minutes to soften the dried noodles in a bowl of hot water, and even less time to cook them.

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I add a variety of vegetables to my pancit. It all depends on whatever is fresh and in season at the time I make it. I like cabbage, carrots, onions, celery, snow peas, bell peppers, and fresh green beans.

In addition to vegetables, Pancit Bihon includes some sort of meat. I prefer using chicken in this recipe, but you most certainly can use pork and beef as well. Pancit Bihon also usually has Chinese sausage, which you can find in almost any Asian market. Look for sausage called “lap xuong mai que lo”. This is a cured pork sausage that resembles skinny pepperoni sticks.

This is a great recipe that is simplified by doing a lot of the prep work ahead of time. If you’ve got a busy life that involves work, kids and school, then your time, like mine, is quite precious. Cut your vegetables the night before you plan to make the pancit. You can also cut the meat ahead of time. Refrigerate the vegetables and meat until you’re ready to cook the pancit. When you’re ready to cook, all you need to do is soak the noodles, cook the meat and vegetables, then mix in the noodles. Easy peasy.

My complete recipe is located at the bottom of this post. Give it a try. I think you’ll like it.  It’s delicious served as part of your Chamorro fiesta plate. 🙂

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Here’s how to make it.

Place the dried rice noodles in a large bowl filled with hot water. Let the noodles soak while you cook the meat and vegetables. After the noodles become pliable, drain out the water. Use a pair of clean kitchen shears to cut the noodles in half. Set the noodles aside.

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Saute the chicken in a large wok or pan along with garlic and black pepper.

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Once the chicken is no longer pink, add the soy sauce and Chinese sausage to the wok. Cook for another couple of minutes.

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Remove the chicken and sausage from the wok, leaving all of the liquid in the pot (you’ll use the liquid to steam the vegetables and finish cooking the noodles). Set the meat aside. Add sliced onions, carrots, bell pepper and celery to the wok. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Stir fry the vegetables for a couple of minutes; do not cook too long — you want the vegetables to still be somewhat firm, not limp.

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Add the cabbage to the wok. Cook for another couple of minutes, just until the cabbage begins to wilt.

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The liquid left behind in the wok steams the vegetables nicely.

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Remove half of the vegetable mixture (again, leave any liquid in the wok). Add half of the meat mixture back into the wok.

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Add half of the drained noodles to the meat and vegetable mixture. Stir to combine.

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Add the remaining vegetables, meat and noodles back into the wok. Stir once more.

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Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking, adding more soy sauce or salt, to taste.

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Garnish with lime or lemon wedges. Serve with your favorite meal or as a main dish. ENJOY!

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Pancit Bihon
 
Author:
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: Chamorro
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Rice noodles cooked with fresh vegetables, savory chicken and Chinese sausage.
Ingredients
  • 1 bag (16-oz) dried Bihon rice noodles (or rice sticks)
  • 2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 Chinese sausages (the kind that's cured), thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup soy sauce
  • ½ large onion, sliced
  • 1½ cups carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • ½ small head cabbage, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • Lime wedges
Instructions
  1. Soak the rice noodles in a bowl of hot water for 15 minutes. Drain the water once the noodles become pliable. Cut the noodles in half with a pair of kitchen shears.
  2. Saute the chicken, garlic and black pepper in large pot or wok; cook until the chicken is no longer pink.
  3. Add the soy sauce and Chinese sausage to the wok. Cook for a couple of minutes then remove the meat from the wok, leaving the liquid in the wok.
  4. Add the onions, carrots, bell pepper and celery to the wok. Cook the vegetables for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add the cabbage; cook until the cabbage wilts slightly.
  6. Remove half of the vegetable mixture from the pot. Add half of the meat mixture back to the wok, along with half of the noodles. Stir to combine.
  7. Add the remaining vegetables, meat and noodles to the work. Stir once more to combine. Cook for a couple of minutes then remove from the heat.
  8. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking, adding more soy sauce or salt if required.
Garnish with lime wedges, serve and ENJOY!

 

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Ramen Noodle Salad

Ramen noodle salad has been around for years. I love this dish because you can make endless varieties of it based on your favorite ingredients.

Make it for your next potluck, or serve it as a side dish for your next meal.

My complete recipe is at the bottom of this post.  Give it a try.  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

Ramen Noodle Salad

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I start with the basic ramen noodles and almonds.  Toast them in the oven for a few minutes to bring out the flavorful almond oils and to get the noodles nicely browned.

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I don’t like to use pre-packaged coleslaw mix in this salad, mainly because most of the time I buy the mixes, it already smells bad, indicating spoilage.  I buy a whole head of cabbage and slice it myself, saving the potential for food waste and sending good money down the drain.

On the other hand, I buy pre-sliced carrots.  I’ve never bought a bag of bad/spoiled pre-sliced carrots.  The pre-packaged kind saves oodles of time in the kitchen.

Place all of the salad vegetables in a large mixing bowl; mix in the toasted noodles and almonds.

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You can buy a ready-made Asian vinaigrette for this salad, but a homemade dressing takes no time at all, and you can control the quality of ingredients.  See my full recipe below for my version of this sweet and tangy dressing that makes use of the ramen noodle seasoning packets.  If you want to cut back on the sodium, use half, just one, or none of the seasoning packets.  The dressing will still pack a whole heck of a lot of flavor without them.

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Pour the dressing into the bowl; use a pair of tongs to toss it all together.  Serve and enjoy!

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Ramen Noodle Salad
 
Author:
Recipe type: Side
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
A crunchy salad with ramen noodles and a sweet and savory dressing
Ingredients
Salad:
  • 4 packages ramen noodles
  • 2 cups sliced almonds
  • 2 cups julienned carrots
  • 3 stalks green onions, sliced
Optional:
  • 2 cups mandarin orange slices
  • 4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 cup shelled and steamed edamame
  • 1 cup crumbled bacon
Dressing:
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • ⅓ cup sesame oil
  • ⅔ cup good quality honey
  • ⅔ cup rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 4 Ramen seasoning packets (from the ramen noodles used in the salad)
Instructions
Toast the noodles and almonds:
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Break the noodles apart while still in the original packaging. Place the broken noodles on a large rimmed baking pan. Set the ramen noodle seasoning packets aside (to be used for the dressing).
  3. Add the sliced almonds to the pan. Mix the almonds and noodles together.
  4. Bake for 5 minutes then remove from oven and let it cool. Place in a large mixing bowl.
Prepare the salad:
  1. Slice the cabbage thinly, as if to make coleslaw. Place into the large mixing bowl with the noodles and almonds.
  2. Add the carrots and greens onions to the bowl.
  3. Add any other optional salad ingredients.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk all of the dressing ingredients together. Pour the dressing over the noodle and cabbage mixture. Toss to combine all the ingredients.
Serve and ENJOY!

 

 

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Kimchee Noodles

Kimchee noodles is a quick and easy side dish that is a must-have for your gatherings, and it goes especially well with BBQ meat dishes.

This is my sister-in-law, Darlene’s recipe.  It’s a tried-and-true recipe that’s requested often.  It’s a great potluck dish too.

Dar’s complete recipe is located at the bottom of this post.  Give it a try.  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

Darlene’s Kimchee Noodles

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These are the ingredients used to make the Kimchee Noodles.  You can find them in most Asian markets.

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Prepare the noodles according to the package directions.  Drain and rinse the noodles then place into a mixing bowl.  Drizzle with sesame oil (the oil adds flavor and makes it easier to mix in the kimchee sauce).

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Stir the kimchee sauce into the noodles.

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Add daigo’ and cucumbers.

Serve and Enjoy!

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Kimchee Noodles
 
Author:
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: Korean
 
Noodles with kimchee base sauce, pickled daigo' (daikon radish), and cucumbers
Ingredients
  • 1 package bean thread noodles (sometimes called Vermicelli)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kimchee base
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 English cucumber, diced small
  • 1 pickled daikon radish, or daigo', diced small
Instructions
  1. Boil the noodles until soft, about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water then place in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the sesame oil to the noodles; mix well to coat the noodles with the oil.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, kimchee base, and rice vinegar. Pour over the noodles; mix to combine all of the ingredients.
  4. Mix in the diced cucumbers and daigo'.
Serve and ENJOY!

 

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