17 December 2009

Three Sisters Pasta

The other night I had yet another lovely moment to pause and be grateful that I am living with two of my fabulous sisters. I love cooking with them.

We have been meaning for a week to make this dish. It is something of a specialty for G. She discovered it watching a cooking show with our grandmother in 2003. All we have to re-create it are a few somewhat cryptic notes that Grandma took while watching. The recipe is for shrimp, but we frequently make it with chicken, or in this case Quorn, the closest vegetarian meat-substitute I have ever encountered, and I have searched far and wide. Really, it tastes like chicken... and it's meant to.

Here is the recipe that we have come up with... It's not perfect yet, and G. maintained her title of Little Miss Picky-pants, stating however good it was, it didn't taste quite right and we would have to try again to get it closer to how she remembered it. Until then...

1 package orzo pasta (other small pastas work, too, like mini-bowties)
1 package fresh baby spinach, shredded
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1 package grape tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp fresh basil, shredded
salt & pepper, to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1 package Quorn cutlets, cubed small (or raw shrimp, peeled and deveined)
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Boil pasta according to package directions; drain; place in large bowl. Add in spinach, 1/2 the lemon zest, and the grape tomatoes; stir; add basil, salt and pepper; stir. Heat oil in a skillet; sauté garlic; add red pepper flakes and the rest of the zest. Heat for 30 seconds; add cutlet cubes (or shrimp), and sauté until cooked. Add lemon juice to deglaze the pan and toss immediately with the pasta mixture. Serve warm.

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