January 23, 2013

Mint & Pea Pesto with Shrimp

Pin It Follow Us for More

We love shrimp. We love pesto too. Why? Because they are both so easy and quick to make. Shrimp are great because you can just sauté them for a few minutes and you've got a meal. Pesto takes barely any time to prepare, yet packs a big punch of flavor.

We wanted to try something a little different, so we created this mint and pea pesto as the base, and tossed it with some quick sautéed shrimp. Whole wheat pasta was a very nice foil for this sauce - it had a bit more flavor than a traditional pasta would have, which paired very nicely with the pesto.

This dish only takes a few minutes to put together, so it's a great option for a weeknight. Give it a go!

Making the Dish
What You'll Need
1/2 lb whole wheat pasta
1/2 lb medium shrimp, cleaned and deveined
1 cup fresh mint
1.25 cups peas
1/4 cup walnuts
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste

To get started on the pesto, combine the peas, mint, walnuts, garlic, and cheese in a food processor. Pulse a few times to get things chopped up. Then turn on and drizzle in olive oil. Scrape down the sides of the food processor and pulse again. Continue this until a nice pasta forms. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, heat up a skillet and melt the butter. Toss in the shrimp and cook for about 2 - 3 minutes, until the shrimp has turned opaque but has not started to shrink. You don't want to overcook it! Remove the skillet from heat when the shrimp has cooked.

Add the pesto to the skillet with the shrimp and stir to combine. Add in a ladle of pasta water and stir together until a nice silky sauce is formed.

Bring the cooked pasta from the cooking water into the skillet with the pesto and shrimp. Toss everything together to combine until the pasta is nicely coated.

Then, serve in big broad bowls, and enjoy!

One Year Ago: Cavatappi with Bacon, Spinach and Chickpeas
Two Years Ago: Rosemary Dijon Barbeque Sauce & Mac and Cheese 

January 8, 2013

Gemelli with Eggplant and Mint

Pin It Follow Us for More

In the wintertime, it can be hard to find good veggies to cook with, and eating with good veggies is a fundamental part of a healthy diet. That's why we're thankful for our good friend, eggplant. Some people really don't like eggplant. I can't get my mind around that. It tastes like whatever you cook it with plus a touch of umami, and has a nice thick texture that can almost convince you that you're eating meat. In my opinion, that's a winner.

So this is a dish that is a nice tribute to that magical vegetablemeat. It's very simple and easy to put together, the perfect thing for a new cook or a rushed cook. We recommend using Italian eggplant, as opposed to American eggplant. The Italian eggplants are a smaller (and a little pricier), but they don't have nearly as many seeds and on the whole have a better, less bitter flavor. So go ahead and sauté, simmer, and enjoy!

Making the Dish
What You'll Need
2 Italian eggplants, chopped into cubes
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
4 tbsp freshly chopped mint
3 tbsp olive oil
1.5 cups tomato sauce
1/2 lb gemelli pasta
Pecorino romano for garnish

Sprinkle your cubed eggplant with salt and let sit for about 10 minutes. Then, press down on it with a paper towel and get out some of the excess water. Get started by sautéing the onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat. When the onion and garlic are translucent, add in the eggplant and sauté until soft - about 5 - 7 minutes.

Add in the tomato sauce and mint and stir to combine. Let come to a boil and then simmer. While the sauce is simmering, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the gemelli according to the package instructions - finishing a few minutes shy for al dente perfection.

Ladle a scoop of the pasta water into the sauce and then drain the pasta, rinsing it under cool water. Pour the drained pasta into the sauce and toss together over medium heat until nicely combined.

Serve topped with freshly grated pecorino romano cheese for garnish. Dig in and enjoy!

One year ago: Bucatini with Chicken Ragu (we actually just made this again a week ago)
Two years ago: Farfalle with Lamb, Basil, and Sundried Tomato

January 4, 2013

Spaghetti alla Gricia

Pin It Follow Us for More

Happy New Year everyone! 2012 was a big year for us here at Herbie Likes Spaghetti. We moved to Brooklyn and became homeowners, travelled to Italy and Argentina, and got married. It was a truly special year, and it'll be hard to top in 2013, but we'll try. Between all that, we didn't do as great of a job giving you that many delicious recipes, and we'll try to remedy that over the next few months.

To start it off, we've got a delicious traditional dish that we really should have posted a long time ago. Spaghetti alla Gricia is one of those dishes that is so simple that you can really taste every single ingredient, and really get a feel for how those ingredients compliment one another. It's essentially the same dish as Spaghetti alla Amatriciana, just without the tomato. "White" dishes like this are what Italians eat when they're looking for a lighter dish or when they have an upset stomach. Or so I've been told.

In any case, you can pull it together in about 15 minutes, so it's perfect for a weekend night or a primi for a big dinner that won't take too much effort, and it'll still be a real crowd pleaser, so read on to learn how to make it at home.

Making the Dish
What You'll Need
Serves 2
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
4 oz pancetta, chopped into cubes
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
1/2 lb spaghetti
2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste

In your sauce or sauté pan, heat up the olive oil over medium heat, and then slide in the pancetta and cook over medium low heat for about 7-8 minutes until the pancetta renders its fat and starts to get slightly crispy.

Next, add in your garlic and red onion slices and bring up the heat a bit. Sprinkle over a touch of salt, and let the garlic and onion simmer in the oil and fat for about 5 minutes until it is softened and fragrant.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and drop in your pasta. You'll be finishing the pasta in the sauce, so you'll want to make sure that you only cook it until  it is close to al dente - about two minutes shy of the package directions.

Add in a ladle of pasta water to the pancetta and onions and then drop in the grated cheese, letting the pasta water melt the cheese as much as possible. Add in the parsley, and when the pasta has reached the desired level of doneness, transfer it to the pan and toss everything together to combine over medium heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve with additional grated cheese if desired.


One Year Ago: Hangar Steak with Blue Cheese Spiked BBQ Sauce
Two Years AgoJumbo Shrimp Buzara Style, Buzara di Scampi

December 17, 2012

Simple, Stunning Pasta for Dinner Tonight

Pin It Follow Us for More

I've found that it's been pretty hard for me to get motivated to cook lately (and blog for that matter, if you'll notice how long it's been since I've been back here!). I think it has to do with the sun going down so early. By 4 o clock it feels like it's night time, and by the time work is over, the last thing I want to do is cook.

Fortunately, there are recipes like this simple tomato basil pesto that are super easy and extremely tasty. It doesn't take a ton of time to make, so you can eat and relax without much fuss. I love it because it utilizes basil and tomatoes which are really more of a summer flavor and are never that good in the winter. Because it's blended with other savory ingredients, you can get away with having mediocre tasting tomatoes and still get that summer flavor.

Making the Dish
What You'll Need
15 basil leaves
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 pecorino romano cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 lb linguine

Boil up some salted water and start cooking the linguine. It'll take about 8 minutes or so to cook - check it from time to time, and when it still has a touch of bite left, take it out of the water as you'll be cooking it a bit at the end.

While the pasta is cooking, combine your basil, cherry tomatoes, garlic, almonds and romano cheese into the food processor. Give it a good couple of pulses until a paste has formed. Then, carefully scrape down the ingredients that have risen to the sides. Close the processor again, and start drizzling in the olive oil. Pulse continuously until the olive oil has been used up and you've got a nice blended puree.

Give the puree a taste, and season with salt and pepper. If you feel like it needs a bit more sweetness, you can add some more basil or for more tanginess, a bit more cheese, and then just pulse to incorporate.

Heat up a sauté pan and pour in the basil tomato pesto and bring to heat. The pasta should be done at this point, so grab the linguine with your tongs and transfer to the sauté pan. Toss with the pesto over medium high heat and add in about a tablespoon of pasta water. Toss together until everything is nicely combined, a little less than a minute.

Serve in a bowl garnished with grated pecorino, and enjoy!

One year ago: Mezze Rigatoni with Sausage and Radicchio

November 15, 2012

Fettuccine Alfredo with Grilled Shrimp

It's been a while since we posted - sorry guys! We've been really busy with work and getting married (yep, that happened!) and haven't had a lot of time to cook much less post. But we're sorry! We're really sorry.

With that out of the way, we wanted to share a little dish that we've made a few times that's a pretty classic Italian-American creation: Fettuccine Alfredo with Grilled Shrimp. But this isn't just any old fettuccine alfredo with grilled shrimp. You know how when you go to Olive Garden and order alfredo, it's very smooth and tastes like it came out of a can? This isn't like that. This is a really light, simple, sauce that isn't overwhelming, isn't too creamy, and provides just the right amount of flavor to really get you to want to eat it up as quickly as possible.

Grilling the shrimp separately and then placing them on top to combine while eating allows you to really honor the flavor of the shrimp and bring out it's shrimpiness. In my humble opinion, grilling is immensely superior to sautéing for this dish as it really highlights the flavor and texture.

In any case, don't take my words for it - give it a try and taste for yourself. The nice thing is the dish comes together so quickly and easily you won't need to try too hard to get it right!

Making the Dish
1 lb fresh peeled and deveined shrimp
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, divided
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1.5 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup grated parmigiano cheese
1/2 lb fettuccine or tagliatelle

Clean and rinse the shrimp, then in a mixing bowl combine the shrimp, olive oil, and 1 tbsp of parsley. Toss to combine and then let the shrimp marinate for about 20 minutes.

In a sauce pan, melt the butter and then start to sauté the garlic. When the garlic is slightly golden and fragrant, add in the flour and start to whisk. Let the butter and flour combination toast slightly, and then slowly drizzle in the milk, whisking constantly so that no clumps form. Add in the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cheese, and then stir to combine until the cheese has melted. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper, and remaining parsley if needed. Remove from heat.

Turn up your grill to high heat. What? It's winter? No problem - do it anyway! The shrimp will only need a few minutes to cook through, and you want to make sure you don't over cook them. String them down a bamboo skewer and then place them over high heat. Sear on each side for 2 - 3 minutes until it has cooked through. Then remove from the heat.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions but subtract two minutes so that it's nice and al dente at the end. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and reserve a cup of the pasta water. Toss the fettuccine with the alfredo sauce over high heat and add additional cheese if desired. If the sauce needs to be loosened up at all, add in some pasta water and continue to toss until it is absorbed.

Serve with the shrimp on top, and enjoy!

Spread the Love