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

Spinach and Almond Pesto

Pesto is one of those things that every one should have in their pantry. For years we bought it in the local super market, then we decided to buy it in the local Italian Deli and now we are making it our selves. It is as easy as boiling an egg and it only takes a few minutes.

This recipe is a pesto with spinach, almonds and parmesan cheese, but you can use all sorts of herbs, nuts and hard cheese.

That we chose to make a version with spinach, was actually because we had bought to much spinach at the local Farmers Market last wednesday and did not know what to use it for. So we decided to google ‘spinach recipes pictures’ and ended up with hundreds of pictures of meals containing spinach, but at that exact time none of it look appealing. Later the same day, we saw another blogger baking a cauliflower salad with basil pesto, and  we immediately new what to make of the remaining spinach 🙂

 

Ingredients (1/2 cup)

2 handfuls spinach

1/2 lemon, juice

1/3 cup quality olive oil

2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

8 almonds, roasted

Salt & Pepper

IMG_1041

Rinse the spinach thoroughly in cold water and leave it to dry on some paper towel (if you are in a hurry you can just dap it with paper towel to remove as much water as possible).

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth – it takes approximately 30-40 seconds. If you think that the pesto is a bit to thick and grainy, you can add more olive oil. Add one tsp. at a time, to prevent that it gets to thin.

Transfer to sterilized jar, seal and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

IMG_1042

Serve as a dressing for raw cut vegetables, with pasta, tapas, or combine with sour cream and use as an alternative the the usual burger dressing.

IMG_1043

Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (2.5 dl)

2 handfuls spinach

0.5 lemon, juice

0.8 dl quality olive oil

2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

8 almonds, roasted

Salt & Pepper

Pasta with Salmon and Spinach

Are you eating fish regularly as recommended? Well, we try to but must admit that we don’t get as often as we would like. When we ask others, they say the same and also says that it is too expensive or they have trouble finding quick and easy recipes. This we are about to change with this 30 minute-guest-worthy pasta dish with spinach and salmon.

We will, in time, make many more easy dishes with fish and shellfish and you are very welcome to leave a comment with suggestions or link to great recipes 🙂 Hope that you will love the dish as much as we do!

 

Ingredients (2 servings)

2 pieces salmon

2 cups pasta

1/2 pound spinach

1 red chili, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 shallots, chopped

1/2 cup peas

3/4 cup cream

1/2 lemon, juice

1/8 cup parmesan, grated

Salt

Pepper

 

Clean the salmon in cold water and try it with paper towel. Season with salt and pepper and fry the skin side of the salmon on a dry pan until golden and crisp (4-5 minutes). Cover in tinfoil and bake in the oven at 350F for 15-20 minutes.

While baking the salmon you can make the rest of the dish. Cook the pasta as recommended on the package and let drip of in a colander.

Bring cream, lemon juice, garlic, chili and shallots to a boil and cook for 5-7 minutes at medium heat before adding the spinach. Cook until all the spinach has “collapsed” and season with salt and pepper. Then add the peas and the drained pasta. Stir to combine.

Take the salmon out of the oven after the recommended time. Remove the skin a pulled the meat into small pieces. Add the pulled salmon pieces to the pasta and spinach and stir gently to combine. If you stir to much you might ruin the salmon pieces and the dish will appear less delicious.

Arrange on a beautiful plate and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese. Serve with a good piece of bread and a cold glass of white wine 🙂

IMG_6406

Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (2 servings)

2 pieces salmon

5 dl pasta

225 dl spinach

1 red chili, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 shallots, chopped

1.25 dl peas

2.25 dl cream

1/2 lemon, juice

0.3 dl parmesan, grated

Salt

Pepper

 

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