Thursday, August 11, 2011

Spicy scallop and shrimp rigatoni

I made a cream sauce from scratch!  I made a cream sauce from scratch! AND it wasn't even cream based so I wasn't guilt ridden after scarfing on it.  Sooooo proud of myself, as one of my goals is to improve on sauce and roux concocting.  This was a throw together meal...not very often do I come home and have no idea what I'm going to make for dinner.  I just wasn't craving anything in particular and nothing sounded that tempting...

So I went to the garden to check what had grown since the previous day....and came up with the last (thank goodness) zucchini, a single red chile pepper, and a handfull of cherry tomatoes that actually could've used another day on the vine, but whatev. They even arranged themselves in a nice little smiley face...

So I looked in the cupboard and found this...

Looked in the fridge to see pork chops, scallops, and shrimp thawed (you know I can't do a straight vegetarian meal).  Ditched the chops and stuck with the seafood delight...I diced up half of the zucchini and the whole pepper, threw in 3 diced green onions I had in the fridge, added 3 (yes, I said 3, I love me some garlic) minced garlic cloves, saw my herb planter and decided to add 4 ripped up basil leaves, threw in the tomatoes from the garden and sauted all of this in 2 T of olive oil for about 5 minutes on med-high heat, stirring constantly so as not to torch the garlic.  Can I tell you how great this smelled while cooking??  I was staaaaaarving!

I then added the shrimp and scallops for about 2 minutes (1/2 lb of each), continuing to stir.  But now I needed a sauce.  I had some chicken broth in the fridge so I added a cup and a half of that to the skillet, and allowed it to boil the scallops and shrimp.  The sauce needed thickening, so I added 1/2 to 3/4 cup reduced fat parmesan cheese, as well about a cup of shredded reduced fat mozzerella that I had a tiny hunk of in the fridge.  After mixing and allowing these cheeses and broth to meld, it came out to be a pretty substantial sauce...creamy but not super creamy where it feels heavy. 

I did add 1/2 T of crushed red pepper but could have gone without that, that one little pepper from the garden packed some heat!  Continue to boil this until the scallops are cooked through, which doesn't take long since you don't want to overdo them and have them rubberized.  The shrimp I used was precooked so I didn't want to overcook those either.  I threw the sauce over the wheat rigatoni (cooked al dente), and served with fresh basil leaves on top.  Mmmmmmmmm! Seriously one of my greater meals without having a plan to start with...usually I decide on things I would change next time but this was perfect and will be done again since it's all stuff I keep around the house on a regular basis.  All the flavors in the sauce melded together perfectly, the veggies were done to perfection, and who doesn't love a hearty seafood pasta with fresh veggies and some kick to it?  I'm glad there's leftovers :)

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