Bobbe’s Garlic Shrimp with Fresh Peas, Spinach & Tomatoes

I made this for dinner last night. It’s easy, healthy and takes very little time. Perfect week night meal!

NOTE: Today is your lucky day! I am sparing you a lengthy explanation about what I think about this recipe! The ONLY thing important to know is that my measurements for butter and olive oil are complete approximations. I tend to be very heavy handed with butter and this recipe can take it!

Garlic Shrimp with Fresh Veggies.

Ingredients
Half stick of butter (or MORE!)
4-5 TBSP (or 6 or 7 see my note above) olive oil
3 Tbsp chopped garlic
1-2 lbs raw shrimp (peeled & deveined) We like the Argentinian Red Shrimp from Trader Joe’s (find it in the frozen aisle)
1 package fresh English peas (Kroger has them now)
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes (keep them whole)
4-5 cups fresh spinach
Salt & pepper to taste

Optional: Angel hair pasta (I used @ 1/4 of box, but use however much you want or leave it out)

Assemble your cast of characters

Instructions

Thaw and dry the shrimp well. Place in a ziplock bag with enough olive oil to coat it (not drown it) and the fresh garlic. Be sure and mix it around so the shrimp is evenly coated with the garlic. Let this sit on the counter while you’re sautéing the vegetables.

Boil and drain the pasta making sure to reserve one cup of the cooked pasta water. (Put a lid on it to help it stay a little warm while you continue to work.)

Place your skillet over medium heat, heat 2 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp olive oil, then add the peas and whole tomatoes. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Sauté for about 6-8 minutes, then add in half the spinach stirring constantly until the spinach wilts and turns bright green. Remove everything from the pan and set aside. (You will add it back after the shrimp is cooked.)

Put the pan back on the heat, add another pat of butter, let it melt, then dump in the shrimp. Spread it evenly over the pan, sauté for a couple of minutes, turn the shrimp over and continue sautéing until the shrimp is opaque. (About another minute) Quickly add the vegetables back to the pan along with the remaining raw spinach. Turn the spinach until almost cooked, then remove the pan from the heat and slowly add in the pasta. (Use the pasta water to help incorporate it.)

Poof. You’re a genius!

This is how it looks towards the end. You want some of the spinach to stay super green and just barely cooked.

Not Yo Mama’s Vegetarian Lasagna ala Bobbe

I have finally come up with a recipe for vegetarian lasagna that I think is worth sharing. Seriously, we loved this dish!

Recently I was asked by a wonderful lady if I would create a meatless lasagna for her to serve the vegetarians at her dinner party. Happily, I obliged even though I am not typically a lasagna maker. (Something about the ricotta cheese always messes me up and the dish ends up too gloopy.)

I started this dish just thinking about vegetables I like to eat together. Spinach and artichoke always find themselves front and center wearing gold stars, when I start this thought process. Next, what items could I add for taste, color and texture: onions, shredded carrots and chopped Shiitakes! Perfect combo!

Then I thought about my issues with ricotta and I remembered watching an episode of “The Pioneer Woman” where she made hers with a yummy Béchamel sauce (white sauce) instead of ricotta. I questioned this though, because of this being a meatless dish. When there is no meat present, flavors are different and I worried that Béchamel might make a squishy, drippy lasagna. What to do; what to do?

I decided to make a sauce using heavy cream, cottage cheese, finely grated Parmesan cheese, a little corn starch, an egg and some fresh garlic. Then I put together my red sauce and got the rest of my ingredients assembled and ready to go.

Cast of characters:

I should mention too, that I grated a block of Fontina cheese to mix with the bagged Mozzarella for more flavor. To make it easier, and because I was only making this in an 8″ x 8″ pan, I used no boil noodles-they are shorter.

Then it was a simple matter of layering. First, a thin layer of tomato sauce, etc.

Then repeat the layers until the top is reached.

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes covered. Then 10 minutes more, uncovered, until brown and bubbly.

The final secret is to let it cool for 20-25 minutes before serving, otherwise, it will wilt as it did below. (I was hungry! It still tasted great!)

Oh and PS, I tested this recipe the night before I made it for my friend. My version didn’t include the carrots and mushrooms. It also had way too much fresh garlic and I had added too much lemon zest to my white sauce. I like to add a little zest to ricotta because it lightens it up, but it didn’t work here because duh, I was using cream. It actually made the dish a little sour. The recipe posted below includes my tweaks. You’re welcome.

((Hugs and love))


Ingredients:
White Sauce:
2 cups cottage cheese
1 cup heavy cream
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 egg
1 ½ cups finely grated Parmesan cheese
½ tea. Salt
Red Sauce:
(1) 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (OR you can buy a can of San Marzano’s and crush them yourself)
½ jar of your favorite prepared marinara sauce + 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
¼ cup freshly chopped basil
½ tea. Salt
½ tea. Pepper

1 pkg no boil lasagna noodles
(2) 8 oz. packages of frozen, chopped spinach
2 cans artichokes, quartered, then chopped
2 medium onions chopped
2 carrots grated
1 c. Shiitake mushrooms finely chopped (you can leave them chunkier if it’s your preference)
(2) 8 oz. bags of shredded Mozzarella
8 oz. grated Fontina
½ c. finely grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Prepare both sauces and set aside. Neither has to be heated. Simply mix the ingredients and set aside. This can be done a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator if you like.

Sauté the onions, carrots and mushrooms until the onions are translucent. I started the onions & carrots about five minutes before adding in the mushrooms.

Thaw the spinach, combine it with the chopped artichokes and then squeeze out as much water as humanly possible. I use a cheese cloth. Then mix the cooked onions and carrots.

In a 9 x 13” baking dish, layer as follows:
Red sauce in the bottom
Noodles
Vegetable mixture (about half)
White Sauce
Mozzarella/Fontina Cheese
Red Sauce
Noodles
Repeat
When you reach the top your final layer should be Noodles, Sauce, and Mozzarella/Fontina cheese.
Finish by sprinkling a little Parmesan on top of this.

Cover loosely with foil that you have sprayed with cooking spray.
Bake 30 minutes covered.
Uncover and bake 10 minutes more or until brown and bubbly.
Important: Allow this to cool for 20-25 minutes before you serve it.

PS-I had leftover vegetable filling and cheese that I turned into a crust-less quiche for the following night’s dinner. It was so yummy. Just add 5 eggs and a half cup of cream. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

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