Creamy Shrimp and Spinach Spaghetti

This is one of my absolute favorite spaghetti dishes that I make as often as Chris will allow it 😉 It is both quick and easy and then it tastes delicious – what more can one demand after a long day?

Actually I think that we had an extremely long day when I made this sunday evening… We spent last week driving from Atlanta to Austin Texas and back again – 15 hours each way! Well, we didn’t take it all on day but drove from Atlanta to New Orleans to celebrate Chris birthday and our 2nd wedding day, then drove to San Antonio to visit a friend followed by Austin. 45 minutes north east of Austin is a charming little town named Taylor. Taylor is one of those small towns that lost the Wallmart battle and many shops are closed and buildings abandoned. We drove all the way there from Atlanta to eat brisket at Louie Mueller BBQ and oh man, we were not led down. The place was as authentic as one can imagine when thinking of Texas BBQ and meat was prepared by a handful of artists. Actually they have all attended culinary school, but the beauty about this place is, that everything is made from the intuition of the cooks – there is not a single thermometer in the restaurant and the electric oven is only turned on to bake peach cobblers!
So if are ever in or around Austin, I can highly recommend this place for an authentic Texas BBQ experience 🙂 However, I must warn you a little bit… Don’t go there if you have hygiene issues. When I say it is authentic, I mean really authentic – there are no air conditioning and don’t be surprised if you find a cockroach or two in the dining room. But again, it is the best BBQ I have ever had, and I am definitely going there again some time.

Well to get back to this delicious spaghetti dish, we had a long drive home and non of really wanted to cook so we decided on something easy and quick. If you buy pre-washed spinach this dish does not take more than 15-20 minutes to make and it tastes wonderful. If you want it to be even quicker, you can buy shrimps that is already cleaned and ready to cook.

Hope that you like it and feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts and or suggestions 🙂

 

Ingredients (4 servings)

1 tbsp. butter

3 large banana shallots

1 red chili

2 garlic cloves

1 tbsp. fresh thyme

14 oz. spinach

1 lemon, zest

1/3 cup cream

1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded + more for serving

17 oz. spaghetti

20 wild caught tiger shrimps

Salt & pepper

 

First step is to prepare the spaghetti as recommended on the package label. I will, however, recommend that you cooked it a little less than described, as it will cook a little bit more when it gets into the spinach mixture. Pour into a colander when cooked.

Next step is to clean the shrimps from sand and intestines. The easiest way to do that, is to cut it open in the back with a scissor, removing the shell and rinsing it in ice cold water. Place the clean shrimps on some paper towel on a plate in the fridge.

Begin by washing the spinach very carefully and let it dry on paper towel or something similar while preparing the other ingredients. If possible, I will highly recommend that you buy pre-washed spinach as it is much easier and faster to work with and I honestly think that it is worth the extra dollar.
Then slice the shallots and chili and grate the garlic cloves. Remove the stem and seeds from the chili if you prefer a very mild chili taste or leave it in, if you are like me – a true chili fan 🙂

Next step is to melt the butter a medium-high heat (I made this portion on our Big Green Egg, but you can of cause make it on a regular stove as well) in a relatively large sauté pan – remember that all your ingredients including the cooked spaghetti will go in to the pan. Add shallots, chili, garlic, lemon zest and thyme to the melted butter and stir once in a while during the sauté process. Turn down the heat to medium and add the spinach when all the butter has been absorbed into the onions and stir to combine. Place a lid on the pan and leave it like that for 3-4 minutes – this gives the spinach time to release all the water without you interrupting it by stirring all the time (this was a mistake I made for many years cooking spinach – the more you stir, the more you ruin the texture of the spinach).

Shrimp and Spinach Pasta collage 1

Take the lid of the pan and let some of all the spinach water evaporate for a minutes or two before adding cream, parmesan and fresh black pepper. Stir carefully to combine and then leave it for a few minutes while you make the shrimps.
Fry the shrimps in a little bit of vegetable oil or butter or place them on the grill like I have done here. They only need a few minutes on each side, so make sure that you don’t forget while preparing the rest of the dish.

Shrimp and Spinach Pasta collage 2

Add the cooked and spaghetti to the spinach mixture when almost all the cream has evaporated. Stir carefully and season with salt and even more fresh black pepper.

Divide the spaghetti and spinach dish on four plates and place 4 shrimps on top of each. Then garnish with a little bit of grated parmesan cheese and serve with a warm French baguette and a cold glass of Chardonnay 🙂Shrimp and Spinach Pasta 11

Bon Appétit Friends!

Ingredients (4 servings)

1 tbsp. butter

3 large banana shallots

1 red chili

2 garlic cloves

1 tbsp. fresh thyme

400 g spinach

1 lemon, zest

80 ml cream

0.6 dl parmesan cheese, shredded + more for serving

500 g spaghetti

20 wild caught tiger shrimps

Salt & Pepper

Meatball and Gorgonzola Lasagna Pie

A few days ago we made this stunning meatball and gorgonzola lasagna pie. Chris has been dreaming about it for month and insisted to make it now! As everything is made from scratch it take a few hours to make, but we promise that it is all worth it.

Using meatballs instead of meat sauce in a lasagna makes each bite more flavor intensive and tasty as ingredients (meat, tomato sauce and gorgonzola sauce) are separated in each bite. Another great thing with this lasagna, and our meatballs in general, is that the use of home made croutons seem to make the meatball texture more light than without the croutons.

The third thing that makes this lasagna different from other lasagna is, that it is made as a pie with dough on the sites too.

We make several different kinds of lasagna, but this id definitely one of our favorites which we look forward to make again 😀

 

Ingredients (8-10 servings)

Pasta dough

11 oz. pasta flour (tipo 00)

3 large egg

2 tbsp. olive oil

 

Meatballs

26 oz. pork chops

26 oz. steak

2 large onions

4-5 garlic cloves

2 chilies (choose your favorite)

2 inches ginger (peeled)

1 lemon, zest

2 cups croutons, preferably home made

1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

3 eggs

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Salt & pepper

2 tbsp. olive oil

 

Tomato Sauce:

1 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

3 shallots, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 cup white wine

1 3/5 cup canned tomatoes

3 tbsp. tomato paste

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tbsp. dried basil

Salt & pepper

 

Filling

18 oz. mushrooms, fried

 

Gorgonzola sauce

1 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. flour

3 cups whole milk

1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

1/2 cup aged cheddar cheese, shredded

3-4 tbsp. gorgonzola cheese (choose your favorite)

2 tsp. redcurrant jelly

Salt & pepper

 

Garnish

1/2 cup aged cheddar, shredded

Basil

 

 

Pasta dough

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until combined. Pour the combined dough onto a slightly floured surface and knead for at least 5 minutes.

Cover the pasta dough in plastic wrap and fridge for 1 hour before rolling it through your pasta machine. When all other ingredients (meatballs, tomato sauce and gorgonzola sauce) are ready you can take the dough out of the fridge and roll it. Some people hang their pasta dough on a stick to dry, but when making lasagna I don’t think that that is necessary. If you choose not to let the pasta plates dry (like me), it is a good idea to roll the dough as you work on, so that it is put into the lasagna immediately after it is rolled.

Meatball Lasagna 1_Fotor_Collage

Meatballs

Chop the meat into 1 inch cubes and run it through a meat mincer together with onions, garlic cloves, ginger and chilies. Add parmesan cheese, lemon zest, croutons, cilantro and eggs and season with salt and pepper and mix until just combined. If you keep mixing you will get a very dense meatball instead of a light and fluffy one.

Take a teaspoon of the of the meat mixture and fry it in a bit of vegetable oil. Taste and season meat mixture again if necessary.

Divide the into 10 pieces and form like balls (the size of a baseball). Place in an oven safe tray, pour the two tbsp. olive oil over the meatballs and bake at 400F for 40 minutes. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Meatball Lasagna 2_Fotor_CollageMeatball Lasagna 3_Fotor_Collage

Tomato sauce

Heat butter and oil in a sauce pan and sauce onions and garlic clove for 4-5 minutes. Add dried herbs and white wine and let cook a medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes before adding canned tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir and season with salt and pepper and let cook for further 5-10 minutes.

Meatball Lasagna 4_Fotor_Collage

Gorgonzola sauce

Melt the butter in a sauce pan and add the flour and thyme leaves. Whisk constantly to make a silky smooth roux. Slowly pour in 1/4 cup milk at a time. Make sure that the milk is incorporated into the sauce before adding more. Let cook at low heat until thickened (whisk constantly to avoid burning), it takes 4-6 minutes. Add redcurrant jelly, shredded aged cheddar and gorgonzola and stir until dissolved. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Grease an ovensafe baking tray with vegetable oil and sprinkle it with flour. Roll 2/5 of the pasta dough on a pasta machine and cover both bottom and sides of the tray. Slice half of the meatballs and place the slices on the tray. Pour half of the tomato sauce and 1/2 cup of gorgonzola sauce on top of the sliced meatballs.

Roll half of the remaining pasta dough on the pasta machine and make another lasagna layer. Place the fried mushrooms in in the bottom of the sec on layer. Slice the remaining meatballs and place slices on top of mushrooms followed by the remaining tomato sauce and 1/2 cup gorgonzola sauce.

Roll the remaining pasta dough and use it as a lid for the lasagna. Pour 1/4 cup gorgonzola sauce on top and use a brush to spread it onto the entire lasagna lid. Cover with tim foil and bake at 400F for 45 minutes. Remove the tin foil after 30 minutes and sprinkle the shredded cheddar on top for the remaining baking time.Meatball Lasagna 6_Fotor_Collage

Let the lasagna rest for 20-30 minutes before serving. Decorate with teaspoons of the remaining of the warm gorgonzola sauce and basil leaves and serve with a good strong red wine 🙂

Meatball Lasagna 31Bon Appétit!

 

Ingredients (8-10 servings)

Pasta dough

300 g pasta flour (tipo 00)

3 large egg

2 tbsp. olive oil

 

Meatballs

750 g pork chops

750 steak

2 large onions

4-5 garlic cloves

2 chilies (choose your favorite)

5 cm ginger (peeled)

1 lemon, zest

5 dl croutons, preferably home made

2.5 dl parmesan cheese, grated

3 eggs

1.25 dl cilantro, chopped

Salt & pepper

2 tbsp. olive oil

 

Filling

18 oz. mushrooms, fried

 

Tomato Sauce

1 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

3 shallots, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

2.5 white wine

4 dl canned tomatoes

3 tbsp. tomato paste

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tbsp. dried basil

Salt & pepper

 

Gorgonzola sauce

1 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. flour

7.5 dl whole milk

1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

1.25 dl aged cheddar cheese, shredded

3-4 tbsp. gorgonzola cheese (choose your favorite)

2 tsp. redcurrant jelly

Salt & pepper

 

Garnish

1.25 dl cup aged cheddar, shredded

Basil

Italian Ricotta Ice Cream with Chocolate and Roasted Almonds

Last night we were having guest for dinner and I had been speculating for days about what dessert to serve. Normally I would have baked a cake, as they are some of my greatest cake fans :-D, but it has been quite warm these past days so I wanted to make something more refreshing.

Then one evening when I turned on the TV, I turned passed a channel showing Italian women and their childhood recipes. One of the recipes was this ricotta ice cream with roasted almonds and chocolate and I immediately knew, what I was going to make 😀

It turned out to be great, but I must admit that it would have been better, had I made it on an ice cream machine – but that is still on the ‘to-buy-list’, so I will have to settle with the old freezer method for a while yet :-/ So if you have an ice cream machine, you should use that, but this method can be used as well!

 

Ingredients (8 servings)

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 cup cream

4 tbsp. cane sugar

1/2 cup almonds

1/2 cup quality chocolate 70%, preferably Amedei Toscano Black

20 cherries

20 strawberries

10 raspberries

 

Roast the almonds on a dry pan at medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid burning. The almonds a ready when you can begin to smell a nutty aroma in the kitchen. Set a side to cool down.

Chop the roasted almonds and the chocolate into medium sized chunks (or what ever you prefer).

Place ricotta cheese in a mixing bowl and stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. Add sugar and stir again until the sugar has dissolved – it takes a few minutes. Set aside.

IMG_0410

Whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks. Be very careful not to over-whisk it, as it might ruin the end result.

Carefully turn the whipped cream into the ricotta and fold until evenly combined. Then add the chopped chocolate and almonds and fold again.IMG_0411 IMG_0412 IMG_0413

Cover a springform pan with plastic wrap and make sure that it covers the sides too.

Pour the ricotta cream into the form and cover with yet a layer of plastic wrap. Make sure that the plastic wrap lies down close to the ricotta mass and up the sides of the form.

Freeze for at least 12 hours before serving. IMG_0414 IMG_0415 IMG_0416

Take the ricotta ice cream out of the freezer approximately 10 minutes before serving. Remove both the form and the plastic wrap and place on a cake stand and decorate with cherries, strawberries and a few raspberries.

Serve with a glass of sparkling wine on a hot summer day or a cup of delicious Italian roast espresso on a cold winter day 🙂IMG_0464

IMG_0465Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (8 servings)

2.5 dl ricotta cheese

2.5 dl cream

4 tbsp. cane sugar

1.25 dl almonds

80 g quality chocolate 70%, preferably Amedei Toscano Black

20 cherries

20 cup strawberries

10 raspberries

 

Italian Pasta and Fish with Lemon Sauce

Are you having guest this upcoming weekend and want to serve a delicious home cooked meal, but don’t have the time and/or energy to spent hours in the kitchen? Well, then you have found the perfect recipe in this Italian pasta and fish with lemon sauce.

It takes less than 30 minutes to make and tastes absolutely fabulous 🙂

 

Ingredients (2 servings)

Haddock

2 haddock fillets

1 tbsp. flour

1 egg, beaten

3 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. butter

Salt

Pepper

 

Pasta

1 tsp. thyme leaves

4 shallots

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/4 cup cream

1 lemon, juice and zest

1 zucchini

1/2 pound pasta

 

Clean the fish and dry it with some paper towel. Heat olive oil in a frying pan. While heating the oil, turn the fish in the flour and then in the beaten egg. Add the fish to the heated oil and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side or until it is golden brown. Set aside while making the sauce.

Cut the onions into thin slices and the zucchini into small cubes.

Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the thyme leaves and sliced onions. sauté for a few minutes before adding white wine, chicken stock, juice and zest from the lemon and cream. Stir to combine and cook for 5-8 minutes.

Meanwhile cook the pasta as  described on the package. Drain in a colander and set aside while finishing the sauce.

Add the fried fish and the zucchini cubes to the lemon sauce. Let cook for about 2-3 minutes before removing the fish again. Then add the drained cooked pasta to the sauce and stir to combine.

Arrange on a pretty plate and top with the fish.

Serve with some good Italian bread and a glass of cold white wine.

Image

Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (2 servings)

Haddock

2 haddock fillets

1 tbsp. flour

1 egg, beaten

3 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. butter

Salt

Pepper

Pasta

1 tsp. thyme leaves

4 shallots

1.25 dl white wine

1.25 dl chicken stock

0.8 dl cup cream

1 lemon, juice and zest

1 zucchini

225 dl pasta

Italian Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

Do you need it to be quick, easy and delicious, all at the same time? Then make this incredibly quick and easy Italian tomato and mozzarella salad. It takes less than 5 minutes to make and it tastes delicious and fresh.

We often make it as an “Ups, we forgot to make a salad” salad on a busy or tired day! But it is also great to serve as a side dish for steaks, fish, tapas, as a starter or just as a light lunch salad. If served as a starter or a lunch salad, try and add a few slices of bresaola and some good Italian bread 🙂

 

Ingredients (2 servings)

4 tomatoes

1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese

1 tbsp. basil leaves

1 tbsp. quality olive oil

1/2 lemon, juice

Salt

Pepper

 

Cut the tomatoes and mozzarella into 1/2-inch slices and arrange on a beautiful plate. Pour over the olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Decorate with basil leaves.

Serve as a side dish for your favorite Italian dinner 🙂

IMG_6053

Bon Appétit!