Monday, September 10, 2012

Trofie with Spinach, Garlic, and Shrimp

Our writers' group revisited an old favorite tonight, a wonderful Italian casserole dish for seafood and pasta lovers. Vegetarians can omit the shrimp. Vegans can omit both shrimp and cheese, or serve Veggie cheese on the side. All variations are scrumptious.

Trofie, a thin, squiggly Ligurian pasta with tapered ends, is traditionally served with pesto sauce. It's perfect in this dish, as the spinach would become entangled in longer pastas like linguine. Don't let all the steps discourage you. This one is delicious!


Bread Crumb Topping
8 Tbs. fresh bread crumbs                     3 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
3-4 garlic cloves                                      2 tsps. olive oil
3 tsps. grated Parmesan Reggiano        Salt and pepper

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil                 ¾ lb. trofie or other small pasta
6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced           1 cup reserved pasta cooking water
A pinch of dried red pepper flakes        ¼ cup grated Parmesan Reggiano
10 oz. fresh spinach,                               1 lb. raw jumbo shrimp
        stemmed and chopped *                2-3 Tbs. dry white wine

1. Make fresh breadcrumbs by dropping fresh or day old bread in the food processor with garlic cloves. Combine topping ingredients in small bowl and reserve.

2. In a large pasta pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil and add salt. Preheat the broiler.

3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic over a low flame. Slowly cook the garlic slivers until they turn a light golden brown. Remove garlic slivers with a slotted spoon and discard.

4. Add red pepper flakes to the oil. Cook 30 seconds. Toss spinach in the oil. Add wine and cook until limp, turning often with tongs or a kitchen fork. Remove pan from  heat and reserve until pasta is done.

5. Plunge the pasta into the boiling water and cook until al dente. Just before draining the pasta, ladle 1 cup of cooking water into the spinach and oil and place the pan over moderate heat. Drain pasta and add to the pan with the spinach and oil. Sprinkle the cheese directly onto the pasta and toss well. Transfer pasta to an ovenproof serving platter and sprinkle with the breadcrumb mix. Broil until the crumbs are golden brown and serve immediately.
* Frozen chopped spinach, thawed before adding, works well. Decrease cooking time.
** To add shrimp, shell, clean, and sauté it with the spinach, but not too long, as it will continue to cook when the pasta is added, and again in the broiler.

Serve with crusty bread, salad, and white wine. Serves 4-6.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds great, Pat. Shrimp and spinach are two of our favorite ingredients. I'll be trying this soon.