Try it Out Tuesday – Penne Rosa with Shrimp

I don’t eat pasta very often… It’s not that I don’t like it – I do!  When faced with fresh macaroni and cheese I’m like a five-year old and eat every bite, even if it means I leave protein or veggies on my plate.  🙂  When I began cutting back on extra carbs pasta was one of the first things to go (along with my beloved mashed potatoes) – at that point there weren’t many whole grain pasta options at the store down the street from my house.  Things have changed since then, of course, but I’ve been slow about adding pasta dishes back to the rotation.  When I saw the recipe for ‘Penne Rosa with Shrimp’ on Pinterest, I thought it looked and sounded tasty and decided I needed to give it a try.

One of the things I liked about this recipe was the inclusion of greek yogurt in place of heavy cream.  The blog author (Cassie at ‘back to her roots‘) actually created the recipe as a healthier version of a pasta dish she loves from a restaurant near her office.  The instructions she provides are clear and easy to follow and the finished product made a very filling dinner that hubby and I both agreed was a ‘keeper’!  I’d love for you to show her some love by visiting her blog for the actual recipe, but I took some photos to share with you in case my endorsement wasn’t enough.  🙂
The first thing I did was get my pasta ready to go.  Keeping healthier options in mind, I decided to add one more vegetable component in the form of pasta!  I used a penne, but my husband had brought home a much healthier alternative to most dried pasta because it contained several types of vegetables – carrots and squash, I think, among others.  It was neglectful of me not to look at the brand information so I could pass that on to you, but I’ll try to remember to do so the next time!

browning garlic, cooking with garlic, garlic and olive oil in a skillet

After warming some extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet I added minced garlic and crushed red pepper flakes.  After softening the garlic the recipe calls for the addition of chopped tomatoes and chopped button mushrooms.  When I picked up the ingredients I needed to make this dish I found that baby portabella mushrooms were the same price as white mushrooms and looked better, so although our version of this dish had a bit more mushroom that was fine with me!  The only thing I would suggest if you try this with baby bellas is draining some of the fluid after cooking the mushrooms.  They release more water than standard mushrooms, so my sauce was a little watery when I finished.  (I added a touch more yogurt and it thickened up a bit…)

mushrooms and tomatoes, chopped tomatoes and mushrooms in a skillet, chopped baby bella mushrooms with tomatoes, cooking with tomatoes and mushrooms
Baby bella mushrooms and tomatoes~

I would highly recommend getting shrimp that has already been deveined simply because it saves time.  Mine, unfortunately, was not!  It’s not difficult to clean shrimp, but it will lengthen your prep time and, as with everything else in a kitchen, should be done carefully.  If you haven’t ever done this and need instruction there are lots of great tutorials online that will walk you through the steps.   (Some links even have videos to show you step-by-step!)

shrimp with tomatoes and mushrooms, cooking shrimp and mushrooms and tomatoes, making shrimp pasta with vegetables
Cooking shrimp with the tomatoes and mushrooms.

Almost done!  One of the last things you need to do before adding your sauce and greek yogurt is to wilt some spinach in with the shrimp mix already in the skillet.

wilted spinach with shrimp and vegetables, spinach with shrimp and vegetables
We both really like spinach so I added a lot!

You can see in the picture above that there is a bit of fluid accumulating in the bottom of the skillet.  I think it would have been just *slightly* better if I had drained a little of that.  Cassie’s original recipe doesn’t call for this, but she also didn’t add baby bella mushrooms.  Oh well!  It was still good!

At this point you’re ready to add the drained pasta and sauce to the skillet and heat it through.  Then, plate it up and add a bit of shredded parmesan if you’d like…

penne rosa with shrimp, shrimp pasta dinner, shrimp pasta skillet, penne pasta with shrimp and vegetables
Dinnertime!

My husband had a pasta bowl and was dishing it out as I took this picture, so I had to decide if I was going to spend the time getting a photo of a nicely arranged bowl or join him.  It smelled great, so I decided to forgo the last photo of this series in order to have dinner with him.  lol!  I thought I’d go back later and take another shot but never got around to it.  Sorry gang!  Don’t let it dissuade you from giving this a try, however… If you like shrimp and vegetables with pasta then this might find a place on the dinner rotation at your house!

Bon appetit and thanks for stopping by!

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