Everyone knows that I love simple recipes that come together quickly and easily from things that are already on hand in my pantry. Pasta dishes are always a big hit with everyone in our house and almost everyone in our family loves shrimp. This recipe came together one day as I was scouring the refrigerator looking for likely candidates to go into the evening meal. I had purchased some medium/large shrimp on sale a few days earlier and knew they were going to become part of this meal, but I wasn’t sure what else would go into the mix.
First, I filled my pasta pot with salted water and put it on the stove to boil. Once the water was hot, I started making my sauce. Because of the shrimp in this recipe, you can’t leave the sauce on the stove to simmer for hours. Shrimp cook quickly, and over cooked shrimp quickly become tough.
If you’ve visited my site very often, you have probably noticed that I like to use a lot of garlic when I cook, so this recipe started out, like many of my dishes, with garlic cooking in some olive oil along with some shallots. When the shallots were cooked, I poured in some broth, added 2 cups of chopped tomatoes, and waited until everything began to boil. When everything was cooked to my satisfaction, I added the spinach and allowed it to wilt. Finally, I added the shrimp and waited about two minutes until they had turned pink.
I tossed the cooked pasta with the shrimp and vegetable mixture and served it up in bowls with some crusty bread and Parmesan cheese for sprinkling on top. Baker’s Man complained that it was a little too wet for him. He would have preferred a thicker sauce, but gave it a thumbs up for flavor.
Dollar Stretching Tip: If you peel your own shrimp, toss the shells into a pot and cover them with water. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. The flavor from the shells creates a delicious shrimp broth that can be added to other dishes. Strain the shells from the broth and discard them. Put the reserved broth in a container, label it, and stick it in the freezer until you need some extra flavor for soup, pasta, or whatever you’re making.
Disclaimer: I named this dish Shrimp Florentine because I added spinach. I have since learned that cooking dishes with spinach doesn’t necessarily mean that you can accurately call them Florentine. I apologize if I have offended anyone by my misuse of the term.
Disclaimer #2: You may notice that some of the shrimp in the photo still have their tails on them. This was an oversight while peeling the shrimp. It didn’t really hurt anything. We just had to do a little bit more work when we ate. I strongly recommend that you remove the shell including the tails when you make this dish.
Here’s your recipe. Give it a try.
- 1 pound of uncooked pasta, I used Penne
- 1 pound medium sized raw shrimp, shelled and de-veined.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 shallots, chopped
- ½ cup chicken or vegetable broth or wine
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 10 oz raw spinach
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¾ cup Parmesan cheese
- Bring salted water to a boil
- While you're waiting for the water to boil, chop the vegetables and peel the shrimp if necessary.
- Once the water is boiling, add pasta so it can cook while you make the sauce.
- Heat oil in the bottom of a large sauce pan
- Add shallots and garlic and saute briefly until they become translucent. Be careful not to let the garlic burn, it will taste bitter.
- Add broth and stir to combine
- Add chopped tomatoes and stir to combine
- Allow to come to a simmer, stirring frequently.
- Add spinach and allow to wilt. Stir to incorporate.
- Add salt and pepper to your taste
- Add shrimp and heat through until the shrimp are cooked and turn light pink. This should take only about two minutes.
- Drain cooked pasta and stir it into the sauce with the shrimp.
- Serve in bowls and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.
- Some warm crusty bread goes great with this.