Let me just start out by saying that I am absolutely excited that it's finally spring here in the city. Daylight savings has really been doing wonders for my mood: it doesn't get dark until 7 at night, and I feel like I'm full of so much more energy. I'm accomplishing more, and landing more and more work from the blog than ever. Spring is such a refreshing, beautiful season.
In line with all things spring and beauty, I decided it was time to inject a little more colour into my cooking. Say hello to this brilliant and vivacious Spring Pasta Primavera, made with a lighter, healthier cream sauce and some lemon zest!
I have totally steered away from seafood as of late. I have no good explanation other than the fact that I have been creating a lot of meatless meals to save money (you can't go wrong with chickpeas!), and I've been eating a lot of chicken. A sale at the grocery store later, and I'm back on the shrimp bandwagon!
I think you need a little close up to fully appreciate the deliciousness that is this pasta…
The trick to the sauce is using a generous helping of parmesan cheese, and staying away from too much butter or heavy cream. Instead, 2% milk mixed with a bit of flour creates a nice thick sauce, and the lemon really uplifts the flavour alongside the garlic and chili flakes. You can really use any veggies you want, but I think the broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes pair perfectly with each other, and of course you need peas to complete any primavera recipe!
Guaranteed whoever you serve this to will be gobbling it down in about 30 seconds – good thing it only takes 30 minutes to make. Here you've got the perfect after-work meal for a Friday: quick, easy, delicious, and you most likely have some of the ingredients kicking around in your pantry or freezer. Time to dig out that pound of shrimp you bought on sale two months ago but never got around to using!
Lighter Pasta Primavera with Shrimp
- 1 lb spaghetti
- 1/4 cup reserved pasta water
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 lb frozen shrimp deshelled and defrosted (about 35 shrimp)
- 1 head broccoli
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1/2 cup 2% milk
- 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes sliced (packedoil)
- 1/2 cup frozen peas defrosted
- Heat a large pot of boiling water on high heat. When boiling, cook spaghetti for about 8 minutes until al dente.
- Meanwhile, defrost and peel shrimp and prepare veggies. In a large pan, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onions and sauté for 30 seconds. Add shrimp, broccoli, lemon zest, salt, pepper and red chili flakes, cooking for 2-3 minutes until shrimp starts to grow pink.
- Add flour, milk and cheese, whisking to get rid of lumps.
- Add sundried tomatoes and peas, cooking for another 3-4 minutes until sauce starts to thicken.
- Add pasta and a little bit of reserved pasta water, then cook on high for 2-3 minutes, tossing until well mixed.
- Serve hot alongside a light white wine!